K rock Football

Grand Final a free hit: Riccardi

Kieran Fulton stretches for a mark in Bannockburn’s preliminary final win over Werribee Centrals. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

BANNOCKBURN coach Peter Riccardi has started the mind games ahead of the GDFL Grand Final by labelling Sunday’s clash with Thomson a “free hit”.

The Tigers booked a berth in the decider with a 30-point win over Werribee Centrals in Saturday’s preliminary final, 14.11 (95) to 9.11 (65).

However, after losing to Thomson in the second semi-final by 44 points, Bannockburn will go into the decider as a rank outsider.

“Everyone knows that Thomson are the best side in it, by far,” Riccardi told K rock’s The Wash-Up.

“So we just go out there and play a free brand of footy and, hopefully, they have an off day.”

Bannockburn was made to work for its win over the Centurions, leading by just five points at three-quarter time.

However, with Centrals coming off a six-day break, Riccardi was confident the Tigers could outlast their opponent when he addressed his troops at three-quarter time.

“They looked a little bit out on their legs at the back end of that third quarter,” he said.

“And (I told them) just to do the little things well and we’ll get over the line, and that’s pretty much what happened.”

Forward Tom Gillies picked the right time to produce his best performance since joining Bannockburn.

The former St Mary’s star kicked five goals in an effort that proved to be the difference between the two teams,

“He kicked five and had an influence in three or four others,” Riccardi said.

“It was good to see him play well leading into next week.”

GDFL: FOUNDATION LAID FOR CENTRALS

Riccardi has left the door open for midfielder Matt Tyquin to return from a calf injury that has kept him sidelined since the final round clash with Anakie.

“He’s got to train fully this week to prove he’s fit; otherwise he won’t be playing – simple as that,” Riccardi said.

“He did a bit of a training run with us last Thursday night, but he has to show us a little bit more than that.

“We can’t go into a game having Matty at 60 or 70 per cent.

“He’s got to be right to go because if he hurts himself in the first quarter, we’re one down and we’re going to struggle.

“But, if he’s right to go and proves he’s fit, he’s definitely playing.”

Alex Hyslop (hamstring tightness) will also be considered for inclusion.

Click below to listen to the full interview with Peter Riccardi

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