GOOD leaders can inspire a team to do incredible things.
North Warrnambool Eagles' loyal core of experience are doing just that.
Adam Dowie's side showed character to secure a gutsy three-point triumph over Cobden in the closest Hampden league season-opener on Saturday.
Veterans Matt Wines, Tom Batten and Ben Mugavin were among the bests while Sam James and Tom Keast were also serviceable.
We were in front when the siren went and I think both sides showed plenty of good character.Adam Dowie
It wasn't pretty - owing to the inclement weather - but the grit and determination to get over the line was Dowie's proudest takeaway.
"It was a bit of a war of attrition," the multiple Hampden league premiership coach said.
"We were in front when the siren went and I think both sides showed plenty of good character."
Dowie said North Warrnambool Eagles had identified several areas of improvement. "Our work around the ball wasn't great when the ball was in dispute," he said.
"We sort of get sucked into the sinkhole pretty easily and good sides will hurt you on the outside.
"We need to work on that. Generally we've been a team who can move the ball really well, and change angles and use the whole ground pretty well but on (Saturday) we went into our shells a little bit because it was so windy we kicked down the line a lot.
"That's pretty predictable and not how we want to play." Dowie said Cobden had improved significantly since the 2019 season.
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