THE Stawell Warriors will hope to welcome back a host of players for its clash against the Horsham Demons on Saturday.
After a disappointing result against the Saints, Stawell coach Tom Eckel will be looking for a better effort from his side in round 15.
“Our effort just wasn’t there against the Saints,” he said. “We need to be a lot more switched on.”
The side will likely welcome back Brent Tuckey, James Delahunty and Jesse Eckel for the clash. “We’ll still have a few other players out though,” Eckel said.
Defending well and then hitting targets will be a priority for Stawell against the Demons. “They’ve got a pretty even spread across the ground but it all starts in the midfield,” he said. “If we can win the battle in there then we give ourselves a chance. It will be about putting enough pressure on them in order to create turnovers.”
Stawell’s form had been up and down prior to the loss against the Saints but Eckel is still confident his side can be damaging in finals.
“This week will be about doing those one-percenters and applying that pressure,” he said.
“Then we have the ball our skills have got to lift.
“Confidence is a big thing and that is all about how play and less about the final result. If we can hit finals with confidence like we did last season then you just never know.”
Horsham coach Louie Dalziel expects the Warriors will be fired up after the side’s heavy loss.
“We know they will come out hard on Saturday and we expect them to be playing a physical brand of football,” he said.
"We’ll plan for that kind of game because that is an area we can improve on as well.
“As soon as you think you can play bruise-free football that is when things start to go against you.”
Horsham are also likely to be close to full strength with the possible return of Billy Lloyd, Tim Wade and John Wood.
“There are still one or two boxes left to tick but we are close to full strength,” Dalziel said. “To be able have a couple of weeks before finals to consolidate our lineup is really important.”
The possibility of wet conditions will could change the way the game unfolds.
“We’ll adjust our plan in order to suit the conditions,” Dalziel said. “If you think you are going to be able to hang around on the outside and take a couple of bounces down the wing then you are probably kidding yourself.”
Momentum is also important for Dalziel. “We’ve worked really hard over the past month to put ourselves in a strong position. We are quietly confident,” he said.