Grasshoppers stay focused ahead of grand final rematch

FIRST TEST: Kyle Hendy will face his first big challenge as coach, taking on reigning premiers Carisbrook in round one. Picture: Peter Pickering.
FIRST TEST: Kyle Hendy will face his first big challenge as coach, taking on reigning premiers Carisbrook in round one. Picture: Peter Pickering.

Navarre will place the focus firmly on themselves rather than their opposition in a grand final rematch to kick off the 2018 MCDFNL season on Saturday.

The Grasshoppers will travel to Carisbrook to face the side they lost to in the 2017 senior grand final.

Navarre has undergone a number of changes since that match, with a new coach coming in and bringing a fresh outlook to the group.

Kyle Hendy said he comes into Saturday’s match with the focus solely on the performance of his team.

“I think the grand final loss will burn a bit for our guys but we will go out there with a much different side to the one that played in that grand final,” he said.

“I would like to see us first to the ball for most of the day and keep plenty of talk up during the match.”

Saturday’s game will commence in the late afternoon at Carisbrook Recreation Reserve, with part of the game to be played under lights.

Hendy said it will be an interesting spectacle.

“It is always good to have a chance to play in different situations and try new things,” he said.

“It will be quite different under lights so we will wait and see how we adjust from the natural light to the artificial ones.”

The opening game will see a number of fresh faces for Navarre, including Hendy who will coach his first ever game.

“I will probably feel a bit nervous on Friday night but I am fine now,” he said.

“I am just looking forward to seeing how we play.

“There will be a few younger players out there so it is up to our core group of experienced players to lead from the front.

“Everyone is keen to get back into footy once again.”

Navarre and Carisbrook last met in the 2017 grand final, where the Redbacks were able to steal an upset 20-point win over the Grasshoppers who only lost one other match for the entire season.

The grand final rematch will begin at 5pm on Saturday at Carisbrook.