- Scroll down for Marc Greig’s mid-season reports on each of the current crop of 11 Wimmera Rebels
EIGHT rounds into the 2018 TAC Cup season there have been a number of winning opportunities missed by the Greater Western Victoria Rebels but coach Marc Greig has still labelled it a success.
The side sits ninth with two wins, five losses and a draw to its name and has won just two fourth quarters out of eight.
An inability to finish games off has left Greig frustrated at times but he has been excited by continued development.
“The story of our season has certainly been about not being able to get over the line in the last 10 minutes,” he said. “We’ve been in every game except one and it’s been really exciting how we’ve moved the ball at different stages.
“The one area we really have to improve is our defending – but that’s fairly natural because the players that get in these squads have always been the best players and haven’t had to worry about defending as much.”
He said it was great in round eight when his side was able to take the lead late in the match before going on to win.
“We’ve been talking about what we’d do differently in that situation,” he said. “It was good to sit back and watch it come to fruition – we slowed the ball down, didn’t move it through the corridor as much and locked the ball inside 50.”
It is Greig’s first season coaching the Rebel’s squad and the Wimmera product said he had enjoyed his role so far.
“I’ve been absolutely loving it,” he said. “If we had been getting beaten by six or seven goals each week we’d be having a different conversation about where the group is at in terms of development but it has only been the last ten minutes in six of the eight games.”
He said the TAC Cup remained a competition to develop top flight footballers but that every player wants to win once they are on the field.
“That’s why we have a lot of different rules in place so we have nice, open games but at the same time we’re trying to win just like anyone else,” he said.
“We’ve also been really good when at sticking to our guns in order to develop players certain positions for games even when we’re tempted to make changes late in the contests.”
There is a competition wide bye for the first round of the national championships this weekend before the Rebels return to action on June 17.
Marc Greig’s thoughts on current Wimmera Crop:
Charlie Wilson (Warrack Eagles):
Charlie’s played every game who has spent most of his time forward as well some time as an inside midfielder. His pressure and marking are certainly his biggest strengths while kicking goals weekly.
Mitch Martin (Horsham Saints):
Mitch has played every game for us as a forward. He’s a bottom-age player who has been learning the tempo of the game and working at some key areas when training with the Saints. He’s has good footy smarts and has certainly shown some promise.
Tom Berry (Horsham Saints):
Tom had an injury that kept him out for a few games last season so we looked after him during pre-season. I think he’s only played two full games for the season while we’ve managed the injured hotspot in his back. He’s super talented – he’ll play most of his football inside but we’ve sent him forward for a quarter in each game he’s played. I reckon he’s had four or five shots every time he goes forward. He’s dangerous with elite speed and elite ability; fingers crossed he can get a good run at it now with his body and finish the season strongly.
Kayne Councillor (Kaniva-Leeor United):
Kayne has played three or four games out of the eight. He had some outstanding pre-season games to make the squad and is now adjusting to the number of better defenders he has to come up against at TAC Cup level. He probably hasn’t been getting as many marks or easy ball as he has in the past but has developed each week to become a lot cleaner – particularly with his marking. Another bottom-age player who is an exciting prospect.
Brayden Helyar (Horsham Saints):
Brado played the first five of six games predominantly down back but there were a couple of time when we threw him forward so he can develop in a range of positions. He’s a good sized, top-age player who is still new to the level. We want him to be proactive as a defender in order to get good body position so he can make more spoils. He is also a good runner who helped with our ball movement from half back.
Cooper Heard (Ararat Rats):
Coop is a bottom-age player that hasn’t played as yet but his form for Ararat has been pretty good. We think that he’ll develop into a forward but possibly a wingman as well – he’ll be that high half-forward who can get up and then get back while putting on a lot of pressure. He’s the type that can apply good pressure as well as get you a few goals.
Matthew Lloyd (Horsham Demons):
Matty played his second game back at the weekend after breaking his ankle at Christmas time. His rehab has been fantastic and he’s been doing everything right to get back. He’s still a bit stiff at the moment, but we have to get the balance right between making sure he’s not overdoing it and making sure he is 95 to 100 percent right when he’s out there. In his two games back his running ability, decision making and kicking have stood out while being one of our leaders.
Josh Bibby (Warrack Eagles):
Bibbs has played a couple of game as our 23rd player up forward. We’re going to be flexible with him and he has been doing some training with the defensive group for the past couple of weeks. He is a beautiful left-foot kick and we just need to train him up to keep adjusting to the TAC Cup level.
Jayden Wright (Ararat Rats):
Jayden started the season then we left him out for a couple of weeks and before coming back in. He’s been playing as a key defender, which is one of the easiest places to learn your footy at any age. He has great size and strength. Two weeks ago he had a really good game in terms of backing himself - he took lots of marks and had eight or nine spoils. That’s what we’re looking for in Jayden, and we just need him to understand his frame and what he can deliver because he’s an exciting talent as a key defender.
Cody Lindsay (Ararat Rats):
Cody has been training and playing really well at Ararat. He’s got the size that can see him play anywhere –he can be a key forward, key defender and perhaps go through the wing because he runs really well. Unfortunately he injured his foot during the interleague game and is now in a moon boot for four or six weeks. We want to make sure he gets that foot right as a bottom-age player and then see what footy we can get into him at the end of the year once he’s recovered.
Angus Gove (Horsham Saints):
Govey has played every game this year as a top-age player. He’s played both at half-back – because that’s where he’s played a lot of his footy for the Saints – and half-forward – because I quite liked him there in the trial games. He’s played both forward and back, but is a really good ball user off half-back.