Western Jets have ended the TAC Cup season on a high note, winning three of their past four games.
The Jets will particularly savour their 21-point victory over Calder Cannons in the final round at Rams Arena on Saturday, which saw them complete the double over their main rivals this campaign.
“It’s a healthy rivalry that we’ve got,” Jets coach Torin Baker said.
“There’s plenty of good off-field relationships that exist between the two groups and a lot of boys play footy against one another or go to school with one another.
“We were really pleased with the way the boys competed in both games against them.”
The most pleasing aspect for the Western Jets was the youth who drove the side to victory. Of the 22 players who sung the song, 15 were still eligible to play for the Jets next season.
It was important for the Jets to send off their departing top-age players in style, but Baker made no secret that he put a line-up out with a view to next season.
The team included promising 16-year-olds Darcy Cassar, Ethan Bentley and Lachlan Rzanovski, the latter pair on debut.
“That was exciting for the club,” Baker said.
“We’ve had an eye to the future in the second half of the year.”
It was Lachlan Fogarty who had the biggest impact for the Western Jets in his farewell game. Fogarty, a Vic Metro representative this year and a hot tip to be selected at this year’s AFL national draft, kicked three goals in a dominant display.
“I thought it was a great way for Lachie to finish off his TAC Cup career,” Baker said.
“In that last quarter, we were coming home with a bit of a breeze, but we still needed to get the job done coming from a goal down.
“He kicked a couple of goals and was involved in a lot of the pressure acts that led to goals.”
Tristan Xerri, a draft smokey, produced arguably his best performance of the season with two goals in a ruck-forward role.
Xerri has played some standout football for Vic Metro at the nationals and for Werribee Tigers as the 23rd man in the Victorian Football League, but he saved his best till last for the Jets.
“I thought this was his best TAC Cup game for the year,” Baker said.
“With some of the talls, they just get better and better with more footy, and his second half of the year has been very good, so he puts himself in draft contention now.”
Alex Bouris kicked two goals to end another frustrating season on a positive note.