No time for nerves

September 08, 2017

Shepparton and Shepparton Bears will battle in Euroa to continue their finals campaigns.

Euroa will be hit by a huge influx of Shepparton residents this weekend.

Shepparton Swans and Shepparton will do battle to keep their season alive with plenty of representation across the grades.

The Swans’ B-grade side will take on Shepparton United, with their B-reserve side going up against Rochester.

With plenty of depth on show, Swans A-grade coach Jana Bruinier was excited about facing the Bears after seeing positive signs in her side’s showing against Benalla.

‘‘I was a bit unsure about how the girls would weather their nerves, but I knew without doubt they were coping well within a minute of the game,’’ she said.

With some young players tasting their first finals in the top tier, the challenge only increases this week.

Kristy Down and Tiarna Steel stood tall against the Saints’ shooters, despite the constant rotation of goalers they faced.

Facing up to Shepparton’s Kim Commane and either Steph Gorrie or Ella Sidebottom, Bruinier hoped the duo would produce a similar performance.

‘‘They obviously give away a little bit of height compared to other defence ends, but we’ve worked on our defence end and strategies and they’ve really grown in the last four or five weeks and it’s just pleasing to see them doing what we’re doing in training,’’ she said.

‘‘Kristy has changed her natural game, it’s a lot more natural for her to play on the body, but we’ve done quite a lot in working on her getting off the body.’’

The Swans start as outsiders against Shepparton, with the Bears defeating Bruinier’s side in their two encounters this season, including the most recent in round 17.

Despite coming up against some tough defenders, coach Tracey Brereton was pleased with how young shooter Gorrie had been developing.

‘‘She started off a bit slow last week, but then she got going and her development has been very strong,’’ she said.

‘‘Playing state league she started in the under-19s and went to division one, which has helped her in terms of coming up against bigger bodies and more elite players and her development and partnership with Kim is quite good.’’

The Bears are feeling buoyed by their performance against Kyabram last week, despite the loss.

Having come within four goals of the benchmark side, Brereton hoped her side could recover and prevail in a high pressure match.

‘‘It takes a lot of energy to play big games like that and it takes a lot of energy for the Swans to get over Benalla like that, so it’ll be interesting to see how the two teams play,’’ she said.

After losing to the Bombers in a match-up between one and two last week, the Bears have no option other than to win to continue in September.

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