Merrivale midfielder Leatham Robe says the 2017 WDFNL senior footy flag race is wide open.

TOP TIGER: Leatham Robe, who has been best on ground for Merrivale the past three weeks, says the flag race is wide open. Picture: Amy Paton
TOP TIGER: Leatham Robe, who has been best on ground for Merrivale the past three weeks, says the flag race is wide open. Picture: Amy Paton

NIRRANDA proved it could be done: winning the premiership from outside the top three.

Now, Merrivale midfielder Leatham Robe says it is fuelling belief for those jostling for a spot in the top five that they can go all the way.

The Tigers have held onto fifth spot since round eight, with Dennington and South Rovers both just one win behind, but Robe concedes securing the double-chance would be a difficult prospect.

“I’m not sure if we can make the top three now because we lost to Nirranda – unless we knock off Collegians and Kolora, but it’s a tough ask,” he said.

“(But) Nirranda did it last year – they came from fifth spot and won the premiership.

“I reckon anyone can (win it) – if we make the finals, if Timboon makes them.”

Robe has been among the Tigers’ best over the past month, with three consecutive best-on-ground efforts.

He said the return of playing coach Jason Rowan and captain Josh Sobey has bolstered the team significantly, while belief and confidence across the whole group was driving strong results.

“Everyone is realising it’s starting to get to the pointy end of the season; we’ve got to start to really stand up,” Robe said. “A lot of the younger blokes are starting to open their mouths (and be vocal), which is good.”

The Tigers, who have two byes in the coming month – their first this weekend before a league-wide bye on July 15 – expect to get a few more players back from injury for their game against Dennington on July 1.