ONE of football’s biggest drawcards is the magic of the unexpected.
Camperdown is basking in the afterglow of one such moment after stunning Terang Mortlake in their Hampden league season-opener on Saturday.
The Magpies’ 7.16 (58) to 6.11 (47) win at Leura Oval went against the pre-season script.
Camperdown’s summer program was built on the back of minimal fuss.
A few kilometres down the road, a buzz surrounded Terang Mortlake and a recruiting drive laden with top-end talent.
But, such is the unpredictible nature of sport, that counted for little when the ball was bounced.
Magpies coach Phil Carse was rapt with the Magpies’ ability to adapt to the wet and windy weather.
“I am extremely proud – our players showed a lot of heart and I was really impressed with the way they communicated and showed leadership during the times when Terang closed in,” he said.
“It was really trying conditions today. We have played really good footy all pre-season in dry conditions on the spread so it was an unknown how our new group would go in conditions like that.
“To the boys’ credit, they cracked in from the get go. I think we got away to a three-goal lead at quarter-time and felt we held sway most of the game but just struggled to put it on the scoreboard.”
Carse said Camperdown combated Terang Mortlake’s strong-bodied midfielders – a battle which proved telling.
He praised returning onballer Luke Mahony who “led the way with his contested ball and voice around the stoppages”.
“They have really big bodies around the footy in (Stephen) Staunton, (Jordie) McKenzie, (Nick) Couch and (Joel) Moloney, so we knew we’d be up against it,” Carse said.
“It lifts the confidence of the group moving forward, with a young group it builds belief.”
Terang Mortlake coach Michael Sargeant lamented that “you can only play as good as your opposition let’s you”.
“There’s a few positional spots we have to make our mind up on – we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul,” he said.
“(With Staunton) it’s a situation where he’s dominating in the ruck and dominating forward.
“At the end of the day, we won’t be able to make a decision. There’s never going to be a right answer.”