K rock Football

Contest the key for Falcons Girls

Geelong Falcons Girls coach Brendan McCartney directs traffic during pre-season training. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

NEW Geelong Falcons Girls coach Brendan McCartney is confident a focus on learning the game “from the contest out” will hold his team in good stead in 2020.

The Falcons start their fourth NAB League season with a trip to RMIT in Bundoora for a meeting with Gippsland Power.

“To learn the game is to learn the game from the contest out and get your positioning right from there, and then patterns emerge,” McCartney said.

“Whether you’re running to open up space for one another or with the ball, or you’re having to make a decision to defend the ground and find opposition players if they’ve got possession.”

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McCartney, who has most recently been with AFL club Melbourne following a stint as coach of the Western Bulldogs, says linking contested football with fundamentals is a balancing act.

“If you do purely fundamentals they don’t learn game sense; if you just do game sense your fundamentals can sometimes suffer,” he said. “So, it’s getting the balance right.

“But I think you’ll see a group that is pretty competitive around the ball, and you’ll see them get the ball out of contest areas, and you’ll see them pretty hard at the footy.

“Probably something similar to any team I’ve been attached to. It’s just a fundamental belief of mine that that’s the best way to play the game.

“And it stands them in good stead, too, because it’s how finals and high-intensity games against good quality opposition are usually played out.”

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McCartney has close to a full list to pick from, with only the Featherston sisters, Gabbi and Mia (soreness), Mackenize McGrath (hamstring), Jess Woods (foot) and Charlotte Simpson (broken ankle) working their way towards full fitness.

Twitter: @tom_king79

NAB LEAGUE ROUND 1

GEELONG FALCONS vs. GIPPSLAND POWER

RMIT – Bundoora

Saturday, February 28, 12:00pm