Whittlesea will have a shot at going straight back up to the Northern Football League division 1 competition.

On Saturday, the Eagles defeated Eltham to win through to this Saturday’s division 2 grand final against Banyule.

Having been relegated to division 2 last season, the Eagles are again on the winners’ list and having some fun on the field.

Eagles coach Blair Harvey said it was an exciting feeling at the club.

“Last year it was playing for survival every week and they couldn’t play their brand of footy,” said the first year coach.

“Last year there was one or two wins, this year we’ve lost four games.

“The mindset is a lot different. We’re playing free-flowing natural footy and enjoying the game and we’re now into a grand final.”

On Saturday, the Eagles led throughout but were never able to break the game open.

In the end, they won 13.6 (84)-8.8 (56).

Harvey said Eltham kept it close all day.

“It was close and at a couple of stages they come back at us,” he said.

“The guys were mature enough to regroup on the ground and get it done.

“We thought we would try and put a few guys in cotton wool for next week.

“They kept coming and the boys had to fight it out. About the 20 minute mark we knew we had it.”

Harvey said luck was on their side, as they got through unscathed, while Eltham had a couple of injuries.

Jaron Murphy kicked four goals for the Eagles, while Chris McCabe kicked three goals and Matthew Atta and Clancy Bland kicked two goals apiece,

Harvey said Murphy was outstanding again, despite being heavily tagged.

Like Murphy, Xavier Dimasi and Nathan Stefanile were named in the best for a second straight final.

Matthew Coen and Luke Deards were also good, holding the backline together.

The win sets up another clash with Banyule, who won the semi final between the two teams by seven points.

Harvey said they had been keen to have another shot at the Bears.

“It’s very exciting,” he said.

“Banyule are expected to win. We weren’t playing great against them last time, but we now think we have some momentum and we’re looking forward to it.”

Harvey said at this stage he didn’t think there would be any changes to the side.

Despite having a young side, he said they would take plenty of experience into the grand final which is being playing at Epping Recreation Reserve.

“We’ve got quite a few premiership players and a lot who we have recruited have played in junior grand finals and premierships.

“We’d be happy to have the chance to go back up next year.

“There’s a good platform to build on.”

It was a mixed day for Whittlesea with its reserves losing.


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