K rock Football

Little things prove crucial for Tigers

Brent Taylor (right) lifts the premiership cup with co-coach Reece Holwell and captain Sam Jacka. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

BRENT Taylor sensed something was building.

Monday recovery, Wednesday running groups – the extras that are the exception rather than the rule at GDFL clubs.

“Those little things (become crucial) at this time of year,” the Thomson co-coach said in the moments after the Tigers upset Inverleigh by 30 points in the GDFL Grand Final.

“That’s what we kept saying earlier in the year, ‘if we get to this position, grand final day, don’t say you wished you had done this or wished you had done that’.

“Prepare better and prepare (earlier) so you are ready to go at this time.

“That was player driven and not coach driven. We suggested it and they controlled it and took it upon themselves which was good.”

Those little things even extended to preparing for the wet weather that came at stages during the decider by training with wet balls on Thursday night.

“We got a bin, filled it with water and soaked the balls,” Taylor revealed .

“We trained with wet footys all night just in preparation. Sometimes it’s that one per cent and we thought that could have been the one per cent that made a difference today.

“It didn’t rain really until the last quarter but it was something that between myself, Reece (Holwell) and (assistant coach) Toddy Kingsbury … because we have known each other 20, 25 years, we just communicate really well together and we are all over those sorts of things.

“We felt we hadn’t left anything to luck. We were ready.”

The victory, Thomson’s first over Inverleigh since 2013, snapping a nine-game losing streak, was built on the relentless pressure that saw the Tigers lay 88 tackles for the match.

“I say it at every quarter break, we say it before every game, that if we are not tackling then we are no good,” Taylor said.

“Probably our co-coach (Holwell) epitomises that. He tackles and he is annoying.

“I’ve always said I’d hate to play against him because he is just there and he is trying to smother with his face. He leads from the front in that department.

“There were some big tackles out there today. I can think of a couple … Jack Spokes in the second quarter when they were running into their forward 50 and he just tackled and they win you games like today.”

Capping the Tigers first flag in 10 years was confirmation Taylor and Holwell will extend their tenure into a fifth season in 2019.

“We weren’t sure because four years is a long time,” Taylor said.

“To be honest, at the end of last year, we get knocked out in the second week of finals on the Sunday and it’s a big gap from the top three to us.

“But we got some handy recruits this year and we are here now.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

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