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AHEAD of the Division 1 Reserves Grand Final, WRFL Media Manager Kristen Alebakis speaks to Altona coach Ian Fox and Hoppers Crossing assistant coach Ashley Dumesny about their preparations ahead of Saturday's do-or-die clash.
By KRISTEN ALEBAKIS
ALTONA is one win away from winning the Division 1 Reserves flag.
Vikings coach Ian Fox said he was looking forward to the Grand Final, saying it was an exciting time to be a part of the club.
“There is a pep in the step of everyone around the club from our hardworking volunteers, to our support staff to our players and coaches,” he said.
“It has been wonderful with the senior players and players who did not qualify for the team, as well as those unlucky to miss out, turning up to training to ensure each training session is conducted at a high level with great support and enthusiasm.”
Fox said he is proud of what his team has been able to achieve this season.
“Right from the start of pre-season it was clear we had good numbers for our senior squad and a very good range of players that would be available for our reserves team.
“By mid-season the ‘Altona travel flu,’ and injuries kicked in. Good numbers meant we were not chasing players to play, but with quality players being promoted to the seniors and more out injured or away we had to battle our way through the mid-part of the season.
“I was impressed with the players during this phase, we only lost one game. The efforts of all players, buying into the game plan and understanding the importance of team was encouraging.
“For the last two games and the second semi-final we had all players back and available which left us in a strong position, this was reflected in our results.
“Importantly we had a group of 29 players buying in to what we needed to do.”
Finally, Fox wanted to thank the team of volunteers who work tirelessly throughout the season.
“One of the strengths of the Altona Football Club is our dedicated band of extremely hard working volunteers. These people put as many hours into working for the club as some do for their full time paid work. To each and every one of our volunteers a heartfelt thank you.
“It’s not often you can have such a diverse group of young men and honestly say you are proud to be coaching and mentoring each and every one of them in one facet of their lives.
“To every player who has pulled on the boots for us this year a very heartfelt, thank you.”
By KRISTEN ALEBAKIS
HOPPERS Crossing assistant coach Ashley Dumesny says taking home the premiership cup to Hogans Road Reserve would be a great reward for the team of dedicated players and volunteers.
The Warriors are chasing their third successive premiership on Saturday after it defeated Sunshine in the Preliminary Final.
Dumesny said coming into this season the team new it would be the ‘hunted’ after their recent success. He said despite some injuries throughout the year, he and the club are happy with the line-up that will likely take to the field in the decider.
“The beauty of this side is its evenness and everyone players their roll,” Dumesny said.
“We have a few surprises up our sleeve, but you’ll have to wait until game day.”
Dumesny said it would be an exciting lead into the Grand Final, saying a win in the final would mean a lot to everyone involved.
“Premierships are hard to win, so everyone knows you can’t take them for granted,” he said.
“It obviously means a lot to the players and coaches who have been buying into the program since training started in November.”
Dumesny wanted to thank the many volunteers who put in hours of work each week.
“The more you are around a team, the more you realise the number of people off the field who have an influence on a team playing off in a Grand Final,” he said.
“Our club motto is ‘One in, All in’, and it’s been that way the whole journey.
“The Seniors and Reserves train together as one, they eat, sleep and dream footy the same as each other.
“To that point it’s a huge thank you to the Seniors coaching group who we work alongside, the players that won’t be taking the field but will provide support, the team managers, runners, time keepers, statisticians, trainers, escorts and committee, the list is endless.
“They will all be recognised come Saturday afternoon.”