Nothing will be handed to Spotswood on a silver platter in the final round of the Western Region Football League division 1.
That is the message from Woodsmen coach Anthony Eames, who has implored his players to not look any further ahead than Saturday’s clash with Caroline Springs at McLean Reserve.
The game will determine whether the Woodsmen keep hold of second spot and the double chance – or tumble out of the top three and into cut-throat finals territory.
“If we don’t perform well this week, we’ll be in an elimination final,” Eames said. “I can’t see the sides around us dropping their games.
“We just need to win to assure ourselves a double chance. We’re focused purely on this week.”
Spotswood maintained second position with a runaway 119-point win over Point Cook away at Saltwater Reserve on Saturday.
Leading by 32 points at half-time, the Woodsmen put their foot on the accelerator with an impressive 16-goal-to-three second half.
While they had flat patches in the first half and are “still searching” for consistency, the second half showing was outstanding.
“I thought our footy in the last quarter and a half was really positive,” Eames said.
A great sign for Spotswood was the performance of roaming forward Dylan Callard, who finished with seven goals, the most he has kicked in a game this season, and providing an outlet higher up the ground.
“Dylan’s ability to cover the ground is a strength that is probably under-rated,” Eames said. “His work rate, all the way up to half-back, was really strong.
“He was clean with his disposal and very good on the lead. I thought it was his best game for the year.”
Adam Cooney is showing ominous signs in the shadows of the finals.
He kicked five goals and is relishing his time in the forward line and making the players around him better.
“It’s exciting for the club and for the guys that are playing next to him to be playing with a Brownlow medallist,” Eames said.
“He gives us some stability in that forward line and, particularly, with how it functions.
“He’s been preparing well and he’s in good nick at the moment.”
Gareth Newton impressed with four goals in his second game back from a broken finger. His ability to play a swingman role for the Woodsmen will be crucial in the finals.
Sam Harvey, Toby Kopa and Baxter Norton were superb across the midfield.
There is a great atmosphere around Spotswood.
The netball team secured the division 2 premiership on Friday night, the women’s football team will kick-start its finals campaign, against Caroline Springs, on Sunday at Avalon Airport Oval and the men’s football team is a premiership contender.
“The vibe around the place has been really strong for a couple of years now,” Eames said.
“We’ve got two netball teams and potentially three next year and it’s growing.
“Women’s footy is flying at our footy club. We’re going to be looking at having two women’s sides next year.”
Altona ran rings around bottom side Albion in a 243-point penultimate round win.
The Vikings kicked 42 goals, including nine to Patrick Rose and five each to Omar Abou-Zeid and Elliot Cavallarao.
In division 2, Parkside got a 33-point victory over West Footscray. Yarraville Seddon beat Newport by 142 points, while North Footscray went down by 97 to Wyndhamvale.
In division 3, Braybrook and Laverton suffered heavy losses.