Hillside continues to build momentum in Essendon District Football League division 1, picking up its second win of the season.
The Sharks have shown glimpses of good football in the opening three rounds, but haven’t been able to put it all together just yet.
Sharks director of fooball Darren Mantynen said they knew it would take some time for the side, following changes to the playing group.
“We’re building slowly, but a bit slower than we would have liked,” he said.
“We’ve tweaked the game plan a fair bit. We have five under-19s and five new players.”
The Sharks were strong after half-time against Roxburgh Park, kicking 10 goals to one on the way to a 14.11 (95)-5.9(39) win.
Mantynen said that despite the Magpies having struggled since coming into division 1, the Sharks knew they would be tough opponents.
“We knew they would be competitive for a half, having seen their first couple of games,” he said. “Roxy was good for periods, but they ran out of legs.
“Fitness is a strength of ours and we were kicking with a strong six-goal breeze in the final quarter.
“We kicked four goals against the wind in the third quarter and that set up the win.”
Mantynen said 19-year-old Ferdinando Petrarca was brilliant, playing his best senior game for the club.
Raafat Rachrache kicked five goals to continue his good form. He’s kicked 11 in the past two weeks.
Mantynen said those two players were the only real standouts, with the win otherwise featuring an even spread of contributions.
The Sharks will this week face East Keilor, which has been the hot team of the opening two rounds. Mantynen said the Sharks couldn’t afford a repeat of the poor starts they had in their first three matches.
In a positive sign for the side, Brandon Coletta should make his season debut.
Coletta will add plenty up forward for the Sharks.
A win would be vital for the Sharks, who are looking to push into the top four.
“We would have liked to be 3-0 at this stage, but we let one go against Taylors Lakes,” Mantanyan said.
“It was a bit of a reality check for where we are at. It’s a tough competition.”
In other division 2 matches, Burnside Heights remains undefeated after beating Coburg Districts.
The Bears won 11.11 (77)-6.9 (45).
In the women’s premier division competition, Burnside Heights notched up a 14.8 (92)-0.1 (1) win against Craigieburn.
Hillside lost 4.13 (37)-2.2 (14) to the Sunbury Kangaroos on Friday night.
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