HE GUIDED Tyrendarra to a South West District league premiership in 2016.
But when Mick Ford was charged with the task of leading the league’s interleague outfit, he knew it would take something special to topple the neighbouring Mininera and District league.
“The most important part is probably how a side is going to jel, I suppose,” Ford said.
“How the side jels is basically how the day turns out for you, so that was something we really focused on.”
South West District held off a fast-finishing Mininera and District side to emerge with a 31-point triumph. They had slotted 15.7 (97) to 9.12 (66) at the final siren.
Ford said tactics often had less importance in interleague clashes, describing team bonding as the most crucial form of preparation.
“We’ve only really had four sessions together, so it was more about that sort of going for a beer and whatnot after training that becomes important,” he said.
“Getting to know each other is the key. You don’t bleed for boys you don’t know."
Coleraine’s Darcy Russell chimed in with five goals, playing a key role in the victory, while former Port Fairy forward Michael Lambevski earned best-on-ground honours.
Ford said his men tried to keep the ball out of the air in the clash to counter their opponent’s height advantage.
“We knew we were going to be undersized, and we were fairly short across the board,” he said.
“We tried to concentrate on our pressure and the things we were doing when the ball wasn’t in our hands.
“We spent a hell of a lot of our beer tickets early on our tackling, and our in-close handballs – just trying to run the footy – keeping it out of the air.
“Justin Eales (Mininera and District coach) came into the rooms after the game and congratulated our boys on our pressure.
“We nearly ran out of juice but we picked about 10 guys who could run through the midfield and used our bench well.”
The former Tyrendarra mentor said the feat was made special by defeating a neighbouring league on the interleague stage.