AP Cup Player of the week: Dan Bridge

By Beth Newman

Everything came together for Springwood’s Dan Bridge on Saturday against the Magpies.

The 29 year-old played his best game for the season at Chelmer, finishing with three goals, and beating one of the competition’s top defenders in Hayden Thick.

Bridge said after an inconsistent start to his year, it was nice to find a bit of touch.

“It was good to have a few things come together,” he said.

“For me, it’s been one thing good and a few things bad or a few good tins and one bad each week – so it was really good to have it come together, with the help of my teammates,” he said.

Bridge speaks a lot of the team mentality of the Pumas this season, and said that it was this ethos that had been the catalyst for success in 2013.

“All the players get along well. There are no little groups and everyone is really strong together,” he said.

“And we play that way on the field. It’s all about the team, not about the individual.”

And Bridge embodies that team first mentality, reluctant to take too much credit despite being one of the Pumas’ best against the Magpies, even preferring to deflect praise on his direct opponent in Thick.

“[Thick’s] a great fullback and he has been for some time,” he said.

Notching up a win over the Magpies on the weekend was an important mental step for the Pumas, who were blown away in the sides’ previous fixture in 2012, Bridge said.

“It was a great result for us. They gave us a bit of a touch up last year, so we set our sights to try and beat them and beat them well,” he said.

“So to be able to do that in all aspects of the game…that was great for the team.”

Despite such a dominant start to the season, yet to drop a game, Bridge said there was plenty of improvement left in the Pumas – a scary thought for opposition sides.

“It’s been a tough first half of the season with a number of injuries, so we’re really happy with our position now.”

“Hopefully we can remain injury free and really have a crack in finals.”

On an individual level, Bridge said he was looking to enhance those team aspects of the game.

“I really want to continue working on my forward pressure and ensuring the ball stays in there when the other team has it.”

“The most important thing is to play my part in the team structure.”

The Pumas take on Palm Beach in a top of the table clash at Lowe Oval on Saturday.

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