Melton Centrals found an unlikely source to bring inspiration, and a little international flavour, to the side.
The club had the South African international cup team train with it on Thursday night, and Centrals coach Mathew Sproule said the session had an impact.
“They [South Africa] play a game that’s foreign to them and their passion is infectious,” he said.
“We play local football because we love the game, but it can become a grind. They reminded us about getting back to enjoying football.”
In the bottom half of the Riddell District Football League ladder, Centrals have shown periods of good play against sides above them this season, but haven’t put it together for four quarters.
That changed on Saturday when they secured an upset win over Sunbury Kangaroos.
Taking confidence into the game on a ground that favoured their playing style, Centrals shocked Sunbury at the weekend.
Kicking with the wind Kangaroos were wasteful early, converting just one from nine scoring shots.
When Centrals got their chance kicking with the wind in the second quarter, they made the most of it and grabbed a 19-point lead by half-time.
Kicking against the breeze in the third quarter didn’t stop their scoring. They sealed the result with four goals in the final term for a 11.16 (82)-4.14 (38) win.
James Aquilina kicked three goals for Centrals, while James Micallef was named best on ground.
The win was Centrals’ sixth for the season and puts it seventh on the ladder – an improvement on last season’s two wins.
Sproule said the results showed that the side could play good football.
When he took over the reins late last year, his focus was on youth and revitalising the club.
“We were coming off winning two games,” he said. “We’ve played three under-16s and three under-18s this season. It’s about the improvement and the belief and getting them to realise they are good enough.”
Sproule said they liked their chances of adding more wins to their 2017 record in the final two rounds.
“When we play at small grounds … we’ve been competitive,” he said.
“Our ground doesn’t suit our game-plan – we don’t have the pace on the outside.
“We spoke about getting wins on Thursday and we think we’re a chance. We need some more rain in the next couple of days to make Riddell a bog, which will suit us.”
In the final round, Centrals will face Lancefield.
In other results, Diggers Rest easily accounted for Rockbank.
After an even first quarter, the Burras kicked away to record a 13.16 (94)-2.6 (18) win. Mark Freeth was best on ground, kicking five goals.
Macedon, Rupertswood, Romsey and Wallan were the other winners.