ONE of the Hampden league's in-form sides hopes to add an AFL-calibre midfielder to its ranks in coming weeks.
Terang Mortlake - the surprise packet which is undefeated after four rounds - expects assistant coach Lewis Taylor to put his hand up for selection. Taylor is training after battling a groin injury which has delayed his Hampden league comeback.
Bloods coach Ben Kenna said the former Brisbane and Sydney footballer had been in the Western District for almost three weeks working which had allowed him to train with and observe his teammates.
"He's back and he's training with us, he's just trying to get things 100 per cent right," he told The Standard.
"He's a couple of weeks away maybe. Lewy being around (the club) has been good for the group and good for him to get a bit of an understanding of how we're playing."
Kenna said Taylor's input was beneficial.
"Each session he's around he's pointing out more and more things which are relevant points that other people might not notice," he said.
"Coming out of the AFL and VFL system, he's got a fair bit of knowledge of the game which is invaluable for us."
Terang Mortlake has beaten Camperdown, North Warrnambool Eagles, Cobden and Portland and wants to take the momentum in against Port Fairy at Gardens Oval on Saturday.
Defensively the Bloods have been sound, conceding an average of 41 points a game.
Kenna credited a settled back line, led by skipper Joe Arundell, Gus Bourke and recruit Alex Moloney, who missed round four through unavailability.
"Our pressure has been pretty strong and it's probably made it hard for our opposition to move the footy at different points throughout games," he said.
"I think we probably transition pretty well from the back line and through the midfield to get reasonable looks at goal."
Kenna said the Bloods' success was the culmination of a patient rebuild.
Many of its players have come through the junior ranks, been exposed to senior football at a young age and now have a solid base at the top level.
"We could see it happening late last year - the improvement was there and a bit of confidence," he said.
"We started to play the way we wanted to play and that's rolled on through the pre-season and we're seeing it translate into how we're playing now. That belief in how we want to play is pretty strong at the moment."
On-field leadership has also helped the Bloods with Kenna praising Moloney as being a key instigator but overall the non-playing coach has noticed his players open up.
"Right across the board, whether it's guys who are 27 or 28 or even young guys, leadership is growing within the group and communication and direction is growing," Kenna said.
"I'm noticing more players naturally come out at training and say what they think. They want to keep getting better. You can see a bit of hunger there."
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