K rock Football

More than Pride on the line

Newtown & Chilwell defender Luke Maddock and Leopold forward Mitch Patten model the jumpers to be worn in Sunday’s Pride Cup match. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

NEWTOWN & Chilwell defender Luke Maddock says a mantra of “constant improvement” instilled in the group by coach Damien McMahon has driven the Eagles’ unbeaten start to 2019.

After missing the finals despite winning seven of their last eight games in 2018, Newtown & Chilwell is well placed for a return to finals action for the first time since reaching the grand final in 2015.

Maddock, who joined the Eagles ahead of last year, says belief is growing among the playing group.

“You go into games confident in your own ability and your team’s ability, (and) confident that everyone’s going to be working together,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s been one quarter this year where we all haven’t been having a crack.

“Definitely, you start building confidence and belief as each game goes.”

Sunday’s Pride Cup clash with fellow high-flyer Leopold is the first meeting between the two clubs since the inaugural Pride Cup meeting in Round 8 last year.

On that day, the Lions handed the Eagles an 88-point hiding.

However, it proved somewhat of a turning point for Newtown & Chilwell, which has won 14 of its last 15 games, including nine of its final ten matches in 2018 to narrowly miss the finals.

“We told ourselves a few home truths over the next week or so; a few leadership meetings after that game,” Maddock said.

“We were a young group at the time, and we just needed two wins strung together to build that confidence.

“We weren’t too far off it at the time.”

Maddock will be a key to the Eagles’ hopes on Sunday, with a possible match-up on Lion Lucas Boyd.

Boyd, who played alongside Maddock at Geelong West-St Peter’s, sits second on GFL goalkicking table with 19 majors.

“He’s a strong, mature body that has great hands,” Maddock said.

“You’ve got to keep a tight check on him and make sure get to as many contests and spoiling as much as you can on a big guy like Lucas.”

Twitter: @tom_king79