Camperdown Chronicle
Footballers pursue grand final berth

CAMPERDOWN under 18.5 coach Eddie Lucas knows his side has a massive challenge ahead of them this week after they defeated Warrnambool in the first semi-final last Sunday.

The Magpies progressed to the preliminary final following a 7.6 (48) to 3.8 (26) victory over the Blues, with the side now set to meet qualifying final nemesis Portland at Friendly Societies Park tomorrow.

The two sides will clash for the fourth time this season, with Portland holding a mental edge over the Magpies having won their previous three encounters.

But Lucas is confident Camperdown can reverse the result on the Tigers this time on the back of their win over the Blues.

“The boys were pretty excited (after the win) but at the same time we kept a lid on it because we knew we have bigger fish to fry this week,” he said.

“They’re excited by the challenge, we know we can match it with the best if we put up a good four quarter effort.

“The boys are looking forward to going in as underdogs and hopefully knocking them off.”

The qualifying final saw Camperdown lead for the entire first half at Hamilton’s Melville Oval, before the Tigers produced a stunning third term.

They got on top in the midfield and capitalised on their opportunities, kicking six unanswered goals to open up a three goal lead at the last break.

The Tigers then kicked four goals to two in the last quarter to run out 34 point victors, with Lucas expecting the midfield to once again prove the key to both sides’ chances.

“They have some really handy midfielders with senior experience as have we,” he said.

“So if we can get on top in there and get it into our forwards then that should hold us in good stead to get the result.”

The lure of a grand final berth is also “absolutely” motivating Lucas’ charges to turn the tables on the Tigers, with Camperdown searching for its first grand final appearance in the under 18.5s since 2010.

“The boys know they have a big challenge ahead of them and they know there is a lot on the line, it’s why you play footy to play in grand finals,” Lucas said.

“If we can come with the right mindset that we can knock them off and play our brand of footy for four quarters then we can get the result we’re after and we’ll be off to the big dance.”