THE lure of a top-three finish for the finals will drive 2010 premiers Noosa to produce their best when they tackle improving Surfers Paradise on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.
According to coach Wayne Fletcher, Noosa are primed to see off the side that humbled them back in round three in a significant upset down on the Gold Coast.
“We’re a bit better prepared this time around and we’re certainly keen to reverse the result of the first round,” said Fletcher.
“Four points are so important for us to get up among the top three teams. We have to keep winning and hope someone topples from the top three.”
Noosa are currently fourth on standings with 28 points, two wins off the pace being set by leaders Sandgate and only a game behind Wilston-Grange and the Western Magpies.
But the Tigers are still under fire for their place in the five, with Surfers and PBC jostling just behind them for a share of finals action.
Noosa, who flogged Sandgate in last weekend’s 2010 grand final rematch, have two changes, losing unavailable key-position pair Brett Duke and Dayne Frew and replacing them with half-back Ryan Sawers and half-forward/midfielder Zac Smith.
Surfers, with an ordinary percentage of 102.9, simply have to keep winning and they know, with PBC idle this weekend, they can snare outright fifth on the ladder should they complete the season double against Noosa.
Coach Beau Zorko, who has three wins from three starts as new Demons coach, has never experienced the football trip to Noosa, but knows well what awaits his charges.
“It’s a terrific challenge for us,” said Zorko who, in a battle of the coaches with a difference, is a personal trainer, just like his rival Fletcher.
“We have our destiny in our own hands. We know we have to keep winning to get to the finals and we know we’re in control of that.
“I’ve never been to Noosa for football, but I’ve been given some good information from a few of the senior statesmen of our side.”
So serious are the Demons about this match that most of the first-grade squad are travelling to the Sunshine Coast on Friday afternoon.
Zorko is confident the club’s situation will ensure all those early departures will have nothing but football on their minds.
“The majority thought it best to go early and not have travel legs when they get there,” he said.
“I have full faith in the group that they’ll do the right thing.”
Surfers have just the one change to the side that took until the fourth quarter to get on top of Mayne last weekend.
Exciting teenager Brody Haberfield has Queensland under-18 duties and has been replaced by 18-year-old ruckman Ash Freeman.
Zorko was not in charge of the Demons when they upset Noosa back in round three, but he saw the match and noted a few things he may use against the Tigers this time around.
“Sure, that result has given me hope it can be done again,” he said.
“We have no doubts they’ll be trying to rectify that.
“But the biggest thing for us is to be competitive, to play four quarters of good football against the reigning champions.”
for complete round 12 team lists click here