St Albans issued a ‘be careful what you wish for’ message to newly promoted Point Cook in a 92-point drubbing in the opening round of the Western Region Football League division 1 season.
The Saints gave the newcomers an unruly welcome to the top flight at Saltwater Reserve on Saturday, producing an impressive brand of attacking football coupled with a bruising attack on the man and the contest.
There would have been a number of sore and sorry Point Cook players the next morning as the Saints’ bigger bodies came to the fore.
New Saints coach Perry Meka wants to see that hard-at-it style of football played by his team to be its trademark for the rest of the season.
“Our game plan is to win that hard footy, get it back in our hands and make them pay the other way,” he said.
“I thought they followed the game plan that we’ve been working on during the pre-season.
“It doesn’t matter about the opposition if we play our style of footy.”
While it was a convincing win for St Albans, it was not all to Meka’s liking.
The Saints were dominant across all lines, but their finishing left a lot to be desired.
They had an inaccurate return of just 17 goals from 33 scoring shots and there were some selfish misses that will be brought up in the review.
“They’re all keen, it’s round one and they’re all trying to get on the scoreboard, I get that,” Meka said. “It’s something that’s not in our game plan, it’s not in our team values, so it’s something we’ll work on.
“We had plenty of opportunities – our inside 50s was 57 to their 17.
“To kick 17.16 shows we’ve got some work to do.
“We need to just straighten up a bit with our forward 50 entries and make them pay on the scoreboard a bit.”
Big man David Kovacevic was a standout for St Albans.
The ruckman handed Point Cook youngster Aker Ali a lesson.
“I thought he was our best player by a mile,” Meka said.
“He played a ruck rover’s role like he does.
“He had a great day.”
St Albans had 12 individual goalkickers, including three each to Ben Said and Lachlan Calder.
Shylo Smith was the pick of the Saints midfielders for his work at the coal face.
“Our whole midfield were on top, but in saying that, our backline held the opposition to four goals,” he said.
St Albans will face a much tougher assignment this Saturday when it hosts Hoppers Crossing at Kings Park Reserve.
“We’re really looking forward to the challenge,” Meka said.
“I’ve said to the players already, we need to start looking ahead straight away.
“It’s a home game, we’ll get a big crowd, we’re really looking forward to it and I can’t wait.”
In other division 1 games, Albion was powerless to stop Werribee Districts, losing by 188 points in a desperately one-sided game.
Deer Park unfurled its premiership flag before dominating Caroline Springs by 78 points on a day when former Western Bulldogs forward Jack Redpath kicked three goals on debut.
Altona led at every change en route to a 23-point win over Hoppers Crossing.
In division 2, North Footscray was victorious in a 46-goal shoot-out over Manor Lakes by 28 points.
Wyndhamvale won a low scoring affair by 13 points over flag fancy Yarraville-Seddon.
Newly promoted Point Cook Centrals cruised to a 39-point win over West Footscray, while Parkside crushed Newport by 61.
In division 3, North Sunshine could only manage one goal in a 204-point humiliation against Laverton. Albanvale was impressive in a 71-point victory over Sunshine Heights.
Glen Orden opened its account with an 88-point win over Wyndham Suns, while Braybrook went down by 79 points to Tarneit.
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