By: Joseph Arthur
EAST BURWOOD has been the team to beat in Division 4 all season with only one loss to its name, and after another convincing win last weekend the Rams are gearing up for a deep finals push.
Senior coach Stuart Wynd said he was satisfied with his side’s efforts against Silvan and he hopes for more consistent footy leading into finals.
“Yeah it was a good day, our last home game so we wanted to put on a good a show for all the supporters,” Wynd said.
“We knew Silvan – they’re fighting for a finals spot at the moment – so we knew we’d have to play a good game and I thought we did pretty well.”
East Burwood managed to stop Silvan’s forwards, holding the club to only 35 points for the match and keeping gun Silvan forward Leigh Kimpton to only one goal.
Wynd credited young defender Aiden Stephens for doing the job on Kimpton and said the midfield also played a significant role in helping the defence.
“We knew he (Kimpton) was a dangerous forward and I think he kicked a few goals against us last time as well, so he was certainly one we needed to stop,” he said.
“He obviously had a good week last week – kicking six I think – so we put Aidan Stevens on him pretty much the whole game.
“It certainly helps when your midfield’s on top, I thought we dominated the midfield (last Saturday) and that certainly helped our backs out, but Aiden did a great job.”
After suffering its first loss of the season in Round 14 at the hands of Coldstream, East Burwood has gone back to its winning ways, currently sitting 13-1 on the year after 16 rounds.
Wynd said the loss to Coldstream was a wake-up call, but his side is already focused on the next time the two sides match-up, likely in finals.
“We learnt that we’re beatable, there’s no doubt about that, and I mean, Coldstream are a very good footy side, they had a fair bit to play for that day as well so it was just one side that probably wanted it a little bit more ,” he said.
“They (Coldstream) were fighting for a top-two spot – we’d pretty much secured ours – and they were just too good on the day.
“We look forward to having another crack.”
The loss to Coldstream also saw Rams star Eddie Rixton go down injured and he has not yet returned to action.
Wynd said Rixton is due to return this week and was only being left out as a precaution.
“He just got a bit of a knock a couple of weeks ago against Coldstream, so nothing too major he’ll definitely play this week,” Wynd said.
“Just when you lock up top two spots and with finals only a couple of weeks away, when he’s such an important player for us, we weren’t willing to take the risk on him. We thought we’d just give him a couple of weeks off.”
The East Burwood coach said he’s been careful with his players’ health, resting some of the older players in an attempt to keep them fresh for finals.
Despite this, Wynd said he is careful not to sacrifice his side’s form and this week against Nunawading he will make sure the Rams come out strong and maintain their high standard of play.
“We’ve been resting a few over the last couple of weeks and we’ve been trying to freshen a couple of our older sort of players up and we’ve done that most of the year,” Wynd said.
“If players are sore, yeah we won’t risk them, but we’ll go in next week full steam ahead and try to start getting some real consistency in our footy and try to play four quarters.”