DURING the week the word was that Coolangatta fancied themselves as chances to pull off a major upset when they host premiers Noosa at Len Peak Oval on Saturday (2pm start).
By Terry Wilson
But a realistic coach Neil Mackay played down any talk of any over-confidence in a camp that has suffered a severe drain of talent through the withdrawal of Jacob Spackman and Ryan McCabe with work commitments as well as injured duo Ben Dovey and Sam Fife.
They represent four pretty serious outs, coach Mackay agreed.
The incomers are on-baller Nathan Millard, wingman Andrew Boyce, defender Cam Busch and utility John Vogae.
“I wouldn’t say that,” said Mackay when asked about the whispers of an upset. “We’ll just be just up for the challenge.
“This game will tell us two things. Firstly whether we have improved since the last time we played Noosa and secondly it will give us an idea of who can or can not match it individually with the top sides.
“It will start shaping what the club looks for next year.”
In ominous news for the Blues, who lost by 73 points to the Tigers at Weyba Road in round eight, Noosa coach Wayne Fletcher described his finals-bound players as ‘ready to go’.
“I have been very happy with the way the boys trained this week and I don’tt think there will be any complacency against Coolangatta
“They have been good in their past few and they kicked 20 goals against Burleigh.
“The last time we played them they played much better in the second half and we’re aware of that.”
And of Noosa’s run at the minor premiership, which carries with it a home second semi-final, Fletcher noted: “We understand what’s at stake a home second semi.
“But if we lose we can drop down to fourth.”
Noosa have two changes. The Tigers lost Riley Buntain to the Brisbane Lions reserves and dropped Sam Fary to the seconds.
Season 2009 grand final player and member of the team of the year, half-back Ryan Sawers is back, and the Tigers elevated Tasmanian recruit David Welch.
Fletcher said Welch, a utility-type, has impressed the club with his efforts at training and his form has been excellent in the seconds.
“It’s getting close to the finals and we have to have a look at him,” said Fletcher.