Mustangs prepare next Challenge
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Reservoir coach Ross Terranova is entitled to reflect back upon the 2012 season and contemplate what could have been.
The Mustangs led Panton Hill for the opening three quarters of the Division 3 preliminary final before being overhauled by the minor premier in the final quarter to fall to a four-point loss.
Had Reservoir won the game it would have faced off against Mernda in the premiership-decider, a side it matched up well against in two encounters this season. Terranova’s side defeated the eventual premier by 12 points in the Round 14 NFL Match of the Day, atoning for a one-point loss suffered to the Demons earlier in the year.
It’s a thought which isn’t forgotten quickly.
“It was a little disappointing because when you lose the preliminary final by four points you wonder if you were good enough to have a crack at Mernda considering we matched them pretty well during the year,” Terranova told NFL.org.au.
“But that’s footy. It can be disappointing but it was a positive year and I thought we really turned it around in the second half of the season.”
Reservoir has been proactive in the off-season as it aims to advance one week further in 2013. The Mustangs have already signed Watsonia midfielder Joel Buckley, former Parkside forward Dallas King, and Adam Meroli from the Essendon District Football League.
Buckley was this season named the Division 3 Coaches Player of the Year, while King topped the Division 3 goal kicking in 2011 and finished second in the competition best and fairest in the same year. Meroli is a young key defender who has spent time at both the Northern Bullants and Coburg.
Having identified a number of minor deficiencies in his squad, Terranova says the three additions will all have specific roles to play.
“I really wanted to target only four or five blokes,” he said.
“Last year we probably lacked rotation strength through the midfield so we really focused on getting Joel Buckley because throughout the whole year I just thought he was superb.
“He was the standout when we played Watsonia. He was strong at the ball and he will give us help in the midfield to assist (Jarrod) Skinner and Luke Allen in the centre contest.
“Dallas King sort of came to us after last year and Adam Meroli was always on the move from Pascoe Vale so we needed to find a mobile centre half back.”
Reservoir will hope the trio have the same impact as last season’s recruits Toby O’Meara, Ashley Flavel, Jarrod Skinner and Cameron Rooney – all of whom played vital roles in Reservoir’s climb up the ladder.
O’Meara and Flavel combined for 117 goals to finish second and third respectively on the goalkicking table, Skinner finished second to Mernda skipper Rohan Davies for the competition best and fairest, while Rooney took out Reservoir’s best and fairest award.
Terranova credited the quartet’s performance during the season, believing their professionalism set the standard for the team throughout the year.
“Those guys were probably the ones who lead the club all the way through the year which was a really good effort. They’re experienced players and they really led the younger players along.
“They were consistent and did all the right things. Their work ethic is what was important.”
Despite missing the Grand Final by less than a kick and recruiting well since, Terranova insists his side has no right to expect a finals berth next season. The now second-year coach stressed only hard work would enable Reservoir to improve on its 2012 efforts.
“Just because you lose a prelim doesn’t give you the right to just expect to play finals next year,” he said.
“The message will be sent to remember that there was a lot of hard work that got us to where we were last year.
“You’ve got to go through the whole process again and hopefully there’s a big prize at the end but we’ve got to make sure we get the job done through 16 home and away matches then play good footy in the finals if we make it.
“The message will be sent very clearly that we will now be one of the sides that will be hunted, not the ones hunting other sides.”
Terranova expects a far more competitive Division 3 next season in 2013, evidenced by the mountainous work being done by Heidelberg West and Watsonia who have both finished bottom of the table over the past two years.
“It’s not going to be an easy season,” he said.
“Panton Hill and Thomastown will be tough, while St Mary’s are a great young club. Then there’s the influx of players at Watsonia and Derek Shaw at Heidelberg West which means it’s not going to be easy.”
Terranova said he thoroughly enjoyed his first season as head coach and had adapted well to his new surroundings after a long and decorated career at Pascoe Vale in the EDFL.
“I loved it,” he said.
“It was a good challenge from where we started to where we ended up. It was exciting to see the guys develop and the younger guys coming through.
“Reservoir is a great club and they truly are an embracing club. It was very pleasing the way they embraced myself, my staff and the players as well.”
Reservoir will host a meet the coaches day at Crispe Park this Sunday, November 18 at 2pm. All committee, coaches and new players will be in attendance and details of the club’s pre-season training program will be outlined.