Leongatha at home for final


Leongatha at home for final

Final at home: Adrian Campbell addresses his men at training on Thursday night.

By Chris Brown

THE Parrots will need a huge show of support from South Gippslanders on Sunday as they play senior finals football for the first time since 2004.
They will face a resurgent Drouin at the Leongatha Recreation Reserve in a sudden death final.
Coach Adrian Campbell said he hoped most of Leongatha would be at the ground to support the team.
“We need them to make a lot of noise and hopefully get the boys enthusiastic enough to produce some of their best footy to continue on in the finals series,” he said.
But he cautioned that a home ground advantage would not be the difference between winning and losing.
“We have to work, and work damn hard,” Campbell said.
The Parrots’ last victory in the home and away season was against Drouin on August 1 at Drouin when a strong last quarter contributed to a 19 point win.
But since then they haven’t won a game with three big losses in a row.
Maffra beat them by 44 points on August 8, Traralgon by 84 points on August 15 and Moe by 48 points on the weekend.
Drouin are likely to be buoyed by their history making victory over Maffra on Saturday.
The Hawks were losing by 43 points at three quarter time, but came back with an impressive 12 goals in the final quarter to win by 30 points.
It’s the biggest turnaround since the Latrobe Valley Football League began in 1954.
Leongatha have their own piece of history, although less impressive, to spur them on.
According to historians Sunday will be the first time Leongatha have played a final at home since they were in the Central Gippsland Football League between 1934-1953 and in the big league since 1969.
Campbell said that hopefully the club’s first tilt at finals in five years will be enough incentive for the team to lift their performance.
“Our form has been fluctuating all year and we’ve got a lot of youth in the side and guys that have had a big year, and at some stages they become relatively tired and that shows,” he said.
“We are still trying to get guys right. Saturday was the first time we had most of our players on the ground, so it’s hard when they haven’t played a lot of football together to get them to come out and automatically click.
“Hopefully this week we will have a much better showing.”
On Sunday the players spent time in the water at Inverloch in an attempt to freshen up.
Training this week is likely to be fairly short and if there’s a lot of rain the players won’t be running too much in the mud.
The boys have been excited since they beat Drouin in early August and guaranteed themselves a finals berth.
“When we have turned it around after bad losses in the past we have been able to come out and produce some good footy and beat some good sides,” Campbell said.

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