By: Joseph Arthur
AFTER going winless through the first three rounds, South Croydon has begun righting the ship and appears to be back on track.
The Bulldogs’ comprehensive 90-point victory over North Ringwood at Quambee Reserve on the weekend made it two on the trot taking their season to 2-3, and senior coach Luke McCormick said he was happy to finally see his side play some consistent footy.
“To be able to go down there (on Saturday) and finally put four quarters together, which we hadn’t been able to do so far this year, was pleasing,” McCormick said.
“I was rapt with the boys’ efforts.”
McCormick said that some structural changes and tweaks in game style were keys to getting the win, opening up North Ringwood from the inside and playing on at every opportunity.
“We knew that they are pretty good on the inside, so we tried to beat them there first and then spread out a bit and beat them on the outside,” he said.
“In Premier Division footy obviously pressure is the number one key, if you can bring more of that than the opposition, you’re a big chance.
“You’ve got to be able to play different tempos and control it when you need to, but also go quick.
“It’s more exciting footy, the boys enjoy it more and when you go quickly you can basically score more.”
The South Croydon mentor said that he was particularly impressed with his side’s ball movement, something that had been a key point of emphasis throughout the lead-up to the game.
“It was terrific the way we moved the ball at times, that was probably the most pleasing aspect, being able to control the ball and get it in quick,” McCormick said.
“Until then, we hadn’t played four quarters of footy and our tackling rate was down which is something we pride ourselves on, especially the forwards.
“We made sure we put an emphasis on that, certainly yesterday and it started the week before too.”
Small forward Dan Cooper kicked four goals and is enjoying life at the Kennel after his move from Doncaster at the end of 2017.
McCormick said that Cooper’s improvement comes as a result of a boost in his defensive pressure and tackling efforts.
“It’s no coincidence when you do that you play yourself into form and find more of the footy,” McCormick said.
“He (Cooper) can be very, very good, almost electric at times and that’s what he can do, he can kick four, five, six goals a game and obviously that’s what you want him to do.
Former captain Dan King has been in fine form and was named in the best over the weekend, as McCormick praised his leadership and said that King has helped galvanise stronger leadership from the team as a whole.
“He’s (King) just going to keep performing week in week out, he’s professional in the way he goes about everything,” McCormick said.
“He still obviously brings his leadership on the field, I think that’s partly why we’ve started to click and been better the last two weeks.
“It’s not just Dan but everyone, all the experience we have and have brought into the team have started to show more leadership.”
South Croydon will look to balance the ledger this week and take its season to 3-3, when it faces Noble Park at Cheong Park.