Whittlesea senior coach Pete Bugden remains rightfully upbeat despite going down to Bundoora yesterday by 39 points.
Bugden is especially excited to find that two of the Eagle’s can be used as utilities in time of need.
Whittlesea young gun Matthew Robertson, who usually finds himself in a half-forward role was pushed back on former Essendon forward Gary Moorcroft who kicked six majors last time Whittlesea played the Bulls.
With Bundoora peppering their forward fifty for a large portion of the game Robertson was able to restrict Moorcroft to only two goals for the game, his frustration showing after being sent off in the third quarter for throwing an errant elbow at Ben Russell.
Robertson has been quiet in the last few weeks and the new defensive role may have revived his vigour for the game.
Bugden admitted that Robertson’s new-found role puts him on the board quicker during selection.
“He has delivered twice and that is great,”
“It definitely pushes him up the value list as a key backman,” he said.
Andrew “Spider” Fairchild relishing his new midfield role, was more elusive than his hefty frame would suggest and was pivotal in forward fifty entries as well as contributing up forward with a major of his own.
Budgen was succinct when asked what Fairchild brings to the Eagle’s midfield:
A bigger body in the middle will be sure to take some pressure off the hard nut veterans Garrett Heenan and Roy Dyson and the smaller bodies of speedsters Janan Daniel and Brenton Briffa.
- The key to the Eagles’ success is Jeremy Page. The agile ruckman came up against arguably the most powerful ruck duo in the league in Matt Dennis and Cameron Cloke and was massive for the Eagles and has given the midfielders quality delivery all year.
- Gary Moorcroft had kicked a combined 20 goals in the last three encounters against Whittlesea. His two goals yesterday was only the third time he has kicked less than four goals this year.
- The speed of Janan Daniel and Brenton Briffa combined with the hardness of Roy Dyson and Garrett Heenan provides a very strong midfield platform for the Eagles looking into the future.
- Michael ‘Porkchop’ Brennan and Jake Potter made their senior debuts and proved their ability capable of senior footy.
- Northcote Park smashed Greensborough yesterday by 97 points. Whittlesea play Greensborough next week and should be able to take advantage of their current good form and Greensborough’s equally woeful form.
Bundoora got away to a fast start with the wind blowing at their backs booting nine goals in the first term while the Eagles managed three of their own.
Immediately on the back foot , Whittlesea pulled in the deficit for the remainder of the game and they did with a brand of football that will see them stay in division one and remain competitive for years to come.
Trailing by 36 points at quarter time, and the margin stretching out to 46 points at halftime, one could expect the margin to extend further as the Bulls gained the ascendency.
This wasn’t the case as the Eagles rallied hard to create an unlikely comeback.
Rocky Collins and Lucas Hobbs were electric up forward. Their smaller bodies enabled them to run rings around the larger Bulls’ defenders who found themselves unable to stop the two Eagles who both finished with four goals for the game.
Trailing by 29 points at three quarter time after Captain Garrett Heenan only managed a behind on the siren gave the Eagles a slight hope of fencing in the Bulls.
This wasn’t the case as a strong-willed Bundoora were able to respond with a goal every time Whittlesea scored.
The Eagles eventually went down by 39 points and play at home next week against Greensborough who are coming off a 97-point demolishing at the hands of Northcote Park.
Stay Tuned for Senior Stats from the Stats man @nathcroughan
In other games, the Reserves were unable to break the shackles and record their first win going down by 89 points despite playing a hard brand of footy.
The Under 19’s ran away in the last quarter to record a 57 point victory, putting them in finals contention.