Magpies slump to fourth straight loss

Luke O’Neil was named among Camperdown’s best during Saturday’s loss to Port Fairy.

CAMPERDOWN co-coach Neville Swayn is remaining upbeat despite his side falling to a fourth consecutive Hampden league loss on Saturday.

The Magpies fell to a 1-4 win-loss record against Port Fairy, with the Seagulls cruising to an easy 14.19 (103) to 6.3 (40) win in the second half.

Swayn said the feeling amongst the group was still “pretty positive” despite failing to play to their standard over the past month, with he and fellow co-coach Jack Williams confident their best football is still to come.

“Obviously the last three weeks have been pretty disappointing results wise but we’re lucky we’ve got a close-knit group,” he said.

“Jack and I are confident we can turn it around pretty quickly.”

Swayn said the playing group was “obviously very disappointed” with their performance against the Seagulls, adding the difference in several key stats “didn’t lie”.

The Seagulls entered their forward line 78 times to Camperdown’s 30, while poor kicking efficiency in the midfield only snowballed the Magpies’ problems in the back half.

“When we looked back over it, the inside 50s there was a massive difference and our kicking efficiency was well down,” he said.

“The things we spoke about after the game (that went wrong) they were well supported by what the stats said.”

Swayn said the “challenge ahead” of his group was improving its execution, conceding it was a mental issue that had crept into their game.

He said there were no problems on the training track, adding it seemed to be against opposition and under pressure where things were going wrong.

While that appears to be his main bugbear, there were several aspects of the Magpies’ performance that he said were positive on an otherwise tough day.

“Our effort was solid again and our stoppage work and clearance work was encouraging again and that’s been steadily getting better each week,” Swayn said.

“And I thought the way Jack played all day (was really good), for him to show his leadership on the ground the way he did was a big plus.”

Williams was named best on ground at centre half back for the Magpies, with the defender amassing 34 touches and 13 marks in his best performance of the season.

Luke O’Neil also performed strongly in the back half to be named in the best, while the Bone brothers, Josh and Locky, also impressed Swayn.

“Josh’s on-ball work is getting to where it was at a couple of years ago and Locky, who is gradually getting more on-ball time, is starting to grow into the role,” he said.

With the league now to have a bye as a result of the interleague campaign, Swayn said his side would use the break to reset before preparing for a tough stretch of matches.

He said the playing group will enjoy an outing in Geelong on Wednesday night ahead of a training session on Thursday before having the weekend off to refresh and recover.

Preparations will then return to normal next Tuesday ahead of a crunch game with Hamilton Kangaroos at Mahony’s Transport Leura Oval on May 25.

Meanwhile, both the reserves and under 18.5s recorded strong wins over the Seagulls to sit inside the top five at the break.

The reserves improved their record to 3-2 with a 6.11 (47) to 4.10 (34) victory, while the under 18.5s sit third after registering a 9.14 (68) to 1.4 (10) win.

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