MINOR premier Camperdown is facing mental and physical tests today, according to coach Rachel Rodger.
For the second consecutive year, Rodger’s Magpies find themselves in a cut-throat preliminary final after finishing on top of the ladder and being defeated by Koroit in the second semi-final, albeit in overtime last Saturday.
Rodger said she was urging her players to concentrate on their jobs.
“We had a meeting after training on Thursday night and we need to keep the focus off the result and what’s at stake, it’s irrelevant at this point,” she said. “We need to approach the game with the same application we’ve had all year and go out there and back our ability and the result will come if we do that.
“If we let the situation overwhelm us, it will be hard. We can’t afford to be thinking about what’s at stake. We need to be focusing on quarter by quarter and the process.”
Rodger said the Magpies had the ability, underlined by their 17-1 win-loss record during the home-and-away season, to defeat Warrnambool.
The Magpies defeated the Blues by 33 goals in their most recent meeting in round 12 and earlier in the season they had a 22-goal win.
“It’s a funny one, because we have won convincingly both times. This is finals. You never take anything for granted. We are not thinking that we have got this match,” Rodger said.
“We need to use our past performances to take confidence into the game, but we need to respect Warrnambool.”
Rodger said the Magpies had not faced a full-strength Warrnambool, with centre Siobhan Sefton unavailable for both clashes. The Magpies midcourter said she was determined to qualify for another grand final and earn a shot at Koroit.
She predicted no change to her starting line-up.
“We don’t need to panic. The line-up we have started with last week has worked well for a lot of this season,” she said.
She said the way her side fought back last week when it was nine goals down at three-quarter-time before levelling the scores on the final siren had been encouraging.
“We got back into the game,” she said. “We could have folded and been content to lose by 10 goals. The passion was still there and to fight back was really pleasing. We just need to back ourselves and our ability and let the ball go and make the best decisions and not be scared by the situation.”