Lexie Bennett plays his 150th as Magpies go down to GWS
Belconnen captain Lexie Bennett played his 150th game for the club last weekend when the GIANTS were host to his side in Sydney. The game was not as celebratory as Bennett would of hoped for with Belconnen going down 7.4-46 to the GIANTS 26.20-176. However mid-way through the season, the Magpies are not down and out.
The loss did not take any shine off the milestone for Bennett saying “every game that I represent my club I am thankful for”. For the 27 year old, this year is a whole new ball game after captaining Belconnen’s 2009 premiership winning side and also being a part of the clubs Grand final win in ’05. He describes those moments as being the ‘ultimate’ career highlights.
Belconnen have won just one game this year and were hoping to make a bigger impact after their uplifting win against Queanbeyan a few weeks ago. Bennett is disappointed his side was unable to continue the momentum saying “I think we’ve let ourselves down a little bit since then“.
“We certainly took a lot of stuff out of that game... “we want to be competitive against [the GIANTS] and Sydney which we haven’t been this year… we want to make sure that we keep improving,” he said.
Belconnen coach Michael Horne said that although his side did not play well against the GIANTS, there is also a ‘massive gap’ in quality between the AFL reserves sides and the local Canberra teams. Horne believes the clubs in Canberra had not fully prepared themselves for the new NEAFL league adding, “I think we’re been left a bit flat footed in terms of the recruiting”.
Both Bennett and Horne can see a positive future for Belconnen’s young side. This year has been all about getting younger players in the side more experience and Bennett has enjoyed the challenge. “It’s a good experience playing with a lot of kids who are just starting out their careers.” Horne agreed saying that the young players will ‘only get better’ because of the opportunity to play against the Swans and the GIANTS.
Horne said it is not all doom and gloom and that if his side can now focus on what ‘they are about’ then they can play at their best. Bennett believes his side is not down and out saying “we haven’t written off this year yet but we need to start playing a lot better if we want to be making the finals” he said.