2016 Hampden grand finalists North Warrnambool Eagles and Koroit in grand final rematch

ELATED AND DEFLATED: Koroit players celebrate their 2016 Hampden league flag as North Warrnambool Eagles contemplate a missed opportunity.
ELATED AND DEFLATED: Koroit players celebrate their 2016 Hampden league flag as North Warrnambool Eagles contemplate a missed opportunity.

NORTH Warrnambool Eagles co-coach Graeme Twaddle says his charges are focused on the future not dwelling on the past ahead of their grand final rematch against Koroit.

The Eagles fell victim to the Saints’ juggernaut in the 2016 decider – their first at senior level after 19 years in the Hampden league competition – despite a fast start.

Twaddle said the Eagles, who have a 4-4 win-loss record, were treating Saturday’s clash at Victoria Park like any other.

“I don’t think we have referenced too much on it (the grand final loss),” he said.

“We’ve had a pretty solid four weeks of football, so I think it’s important that we are excited to come up against one of the leaders of the competition.

“We rate them in the top two and it’s an opportunity to see where we’re at.”

Koroit coach Chris McLaren, who was sidelined with injury on grand final day, said the rematch tag carried little weight.

“If they win it’s certainly not going to change anything about the grand final, it certainly doesn’t make you feel any better about losing a grand final,” he said.

“We have been there. It’s a new season, a new team.”

Twaddle said the Eagles also boasted a number of new faces in their side from the 21 which made club history in the 2016 decider.

Teenagers Louis Kew, Zac Urquhart, Joe McKinnon and Matt Dennis will all play against the Saints.

Ben Goodall, James North and Alex Pulling return for Koroit.