SOUTH Warrnambool coach Matthew Monk is reluctant to raise expectations for his young side despite the Roosters climbing into the five for the first time since round 16, 2012.
The Roosters balanced their win-loss record at 4-4 after eight rounds following a tight 8.14 (62) to 6.5 (41) victory against Camperdown at Leura Oval.
It was South’s third consecutive win — the first time it has won three in a row since it won four consecutive games between rounds two and five in 2012.
Monk said the Roosters hadn’t discussed or even looked at the possibility of playing finals.
“Our agenda was just to improve our football club as a whole,” he said.
“We are getting some momentum and positive things happening at the club (off the field) and four wins would suggest it’s happening on the field.”
But he said he wouldn’t assess the Roosters’ position in the competition until after next week — the mid-point of the season.
“It just comes down to each week,” he said.
“I don’t take much notice where we are at, it’s about the effort.
“I was really proud of the group (on Saturday).
“To be 4-4 at this stage of the season, there is a great vibe around the club.”
He said the Roosters’ ability to stay with Camperdown when it gathered some momentum in the second and third quarters was crucial.
Monk said South had a focus on a good start and 2.5 to 1.1 achieved that goal. But Camperdown took a one-point lead into half-time before an inaccurate Roosters line-up edged ahead by a goal at the last break.
“I thought our kids stood up well,” Monk said.
He said Paddy Anderson, Josh Alexander, Ben Thornton, Liam Howarth and Michael Pritchard had been creative in the final term when the Roosters opted for a small forward set up.
His defenders won praise, especially Kym Eagleson, who kept Camperdown coach Dan Casey to one goal as the Magpies managed just 11 scoring shots.
Casey was impressed with South Warrnambool, especially their young players. He said half-back Sam Thompson was the match-winner when he moved into the midfield in the final term after his side got within five points.
“We thought we could keep the pressure on them,” he said. “It was more a stoppage game. It was pretty much won in the midfield and they were able to find some space going forward.”
He said the Magpies would be bolstered by the return of Jacob Mahony and Dan Baker, who were impressive in the reserves.
“It’s pretty much our mini-final against Terang Mortlake next week. If we had won we would have been near the five but now we are down the bottom again.”