K rock Football

Joeys eye an end to Colac hoodoo

 

St Joseph’s coach Paul Carson. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

IF St Joseph’s wants to keep its hopes of challenging for a top-three finish alive, it will have to overcome its poor recent record against Colac on Saturday.

Dating back to 2018, Joeys have lost seven consecutive match-ups with the Tigers, the only opposition Paul Carson is yet to taste victory against as coach.

They’ll take plenty of confidence into the meeting at Central Reserve, backing up their stirring nine-point win over Newtown & Chilwell in Round 10 with a 98-point demolition of the winless St Albans.

“We feel like we’re in a really good space, as far as form and personnel starting to make their way back onto the park,” Carson said.

“This is a game we’re really excited for, and it’ll be a really good test leading into the bye to see where we’re at.”

GFL: STATS – ROUND 11

Among the run of outs against Colac is a 37-point defeat in Round 1.

However, Carson believes they can take some confidence from that performance.

“I thought we gave them a real nudge,” he said. “We were right with them there for the best part of three quarters, and (we) were probably without some key personnel on that day.

“If we get somewhere close to full-strength on the park, we’ll approach this a real winnable game and take them on head-to-head.

Experienced big man Josh Hovey and bullocking midfielder Zac Alderton both made successful returns in the win over the Supersaints.

Koroit recruit Clem Nagorcka played his first game since Round 1 in the reserves and looms as a handy inclusion.

“That’ll be up for conversation during the week,” Carson said.

“I would think he would come back in. With Colac being a really big oval, I like the idea of bringing another midfielder, someone who can really cover the ground.

“He’s got really good breakaway speed; he kicks the footy really well.

“If I made the call right now, he would come in after just one game at 12 o’çlock.

“But we’ll see how he’s pulled up and make that judgement later in the week.”

Carson will also consider recalling key forward Ayden Gras after 16 goals in two weeks in the reserves.

Leading Joeys’ goalkicking at the halfway point of the season, Gras was a surprise omission from the win over the Eagles, with queries over his defensive work.

“He’s definitely done enough on the offensive side of his game, hasn’t he?” Carson said.

“I know he did lay five or six tackles against Newtown because that was our main focus area for him.

“I’d be thinking he’ll be recalled this week to play Colac.

“He’s in good form, so he looms as someone they’re going to have to keep an eye on, no doubt.”

Brant Haintz (knee), Luke Webb (shoulder) and Nic Hutchinson (wrist) won’t be considered until after the bye.”

Twitter: @tom_king79