East Warrnambool turning focus to contested football as results improve

POSITIVE: East Warrnambool's Danny Chatfield believes his team has improved markedly in 2017. Picture: Morgan Hancock

POSITIVE: East Warrnambool's Danny Chatfield believes his team has improved markedly in 2017. Picture: Morgan Hancock

COACH Danny Chatfield credits a greater focus on discipline for East Warrnambool’s continued on-field improvement this season.

Chatfield is building on the foundations laid while coaching alongside Paul Hrabar last season, with several recruits also working to lift East off the foot of the Warrnambool and District football ladder.

Chatfield, a first-year head coach at Reid Oval, said his men had put work into a “tough” inside game and were building confidence as a result.

“With such a young group, we wanted to be hard at the footy. But the discipline that comes with that is equally important,” Chatfield said.

“Not everything is going to go your way on game day, and we’ve focused on respecting our opposition.

“Even if something doesn’t go your way, it could in the next contest, so you’ve got to be in line with your structures and ready to go again straight away.”

NEW MAN: Dylan Cross has crossed to East this season.

NEW MAN: Dylan Cross has crossed to East this season.

Chatfield noted an improvement in the Bombers effort but warned against complacency for the club’s final three fixtures.

“The guys can’t afford to come into this week’s game (against Panmure) too confident,” Chatfield said.

“We’ve spoken about the fact that our best footy is good enough to match it with the top sides, but the downside to playing (a club) in that mid-range on the ladder is that you can go in over confident.”

Due to the league-wide bye, Chatfield gifted his players a break from training on last Monday, but put them through their paces in a 45-minute session on Wednesday.

He said player management was becoming vital in later stages of the season, even though it was mathematically impossible for East to secure a top-five berth.

“We have roughly six hours of footy left for the season, and at this stage we aren’t going to get any fitter,” Chatfield said.  “We’ve got to keep turning up, even with the nights are getting colder.”

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