Altona is going to be hard to stop in September.

The Vikings have relentlessly dismantled all before them en route to running away with the Western Region Football League division 1 minor premiership.

Saade Ghazi’s troops finished a massive three games and percentage clear on top of the ladder and have all the momentum heading into the finals.

The Vikings powered to the line with a 97-point mauling of St Albans at Grant Reserve on Saturday.

Ghazi has been impressed with the Vikings ability to take care of the here and now and not get too far ahead of themselves.

“Knowing that we were going to finish on top, sometimes you can sort of not stay in the moment and look forward instead of at the present time,” he said.

“The boys really just focused on every game and played really well.

“They were still desperate and doing all the team things right until the last couple of minutes [against St Albans].

“Guys were still throwing themselves on the footy and smothering and tackling when they could’ve taken it a little bit easier.”

It was a significant win for Altona.

It means the Vikings have now beaten every team in the competition.

More importantly, the Vikings came out with a clean bill of health, while maintaining the rage and momentum ahead of finals.

“You’re not playing for a lot and you just don’t want any injuries,” Ghazi said.

“Having said that, you don’t want to rest too many because you don’t want them playing themselves out of form.

“We played our best side that we could against St Albans, we didn’t have many players out, so we had a strong team in and we played accordingly.”

The Vikings gave up just two goals for the game – both in the second quarter.

Jordan Robbins and Steven Kennedy were superb in the midfield. Patrick Rose benefitted from their service with seven goals.

Ghazi could not fault any of the lines and has been impressed with the team as a whole for a while now.

“We’re definitely playing good footy,” he said. “We’re kicking big scores and we’re defending strongly. We think there’s exciting times ahead.”

Altona will have the luxury of a rest in the first week of the finals before facing the winners of the Spotswood and Deer Park qualifying final at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday.

Spotswood finished the campaign in second after a 127-point win over Caroline Springs, including five goals to Dylan Callard.

In division 2, Yarraville Seddon rounded out the season with a 74-point win over West Footscray.

The Eagles will meet Wyndhamvale in the second semi-final at JR Parsons Reserve on Saturday for a place in this year’s grand final.

Parkside had a rough end to the home-and-away rounds, slaughtered by Wyndhamvale to the tune of 138 points.

The Magpies get a chance to atone when they face Point Cook Centrals in the elimination final at JR Parsons Reserve on Sunday.

Newport, West Footscray and North Footscray all missed out on the finals, same with Braybrook and Laverton in division 3.


Lance Jenkinson