‘Ugly’ win against Ballarat pleases Lions coach

Sunbury Lions coach Rick Horwood. Picture Damian Visentini

The Sunbury Lions will go into the bye on a good note after they returned to the winners list in the Ballarat Football League.

After suffering three losses in a row for the first time under the guidance of coach Rick Horwood, the Lions made sure they weren’t going to make it four on the trot against Ballarat.

In what Horwood described as an “ugly” game the Lions won 19.12 (126) – 9.8 (62).

“It was pleasing to get a win after three losses,” Horwood said.

“We played better football for longer periods of time and we aren’t far away from playing a full game on our terms.

“We kicked poorly in the first quarter and once we rectified that we were able to put our dominance of the scoreboard.

“It was good to sing the song again”

Horwood said the younger players showed that they aren’t out of place in the senior side.

“Young [Trent] Stead has been playing really good in the backline and once you add the experience of Luke Neville and Jake Steeper like we did on the weekend, it gives him even more confidence.

“Dean Muir in his second game backed up what he did in his first game and was again in our top five players.”

Horwoord said Matt Medcraft was best on ground while Tim Hill played his best game since returning to the club.

Another boost for the Lions was the return to form of Jack Sheahan who kicked seven goals.

“He is in for a big second half to the season,” Horwood said.

“He is getting to more contests. When he was recovering [from surgery] he looked one dimensional.

“He has more freedom in movement.”

The Lions are now sit 4-5 with a match against bottom placed Sebastopol the week after the bye,

“If we can turn five and five [after playing everyone once] we are back in the finals race,” Horwood said.

“It is not as bad as everyone was making it out to be.”

The Lions are set for a boost after the bye with 10 players in contention to return to the senior side.

“We are looking forward to getting a few guys back like Adam Short, Ben Said, Greg Hay, Matt Parker and Nathan Wood.

“James Rizk and Nathan Bridgland were dropped and they were in the best players in the reserves.

“With 10 or so players to come back and put pressure on spots. From a coaches point of view I’m rapt.”

Horwood said the club would meet on Tuesday night to start plans for next season.

“We are having a planning meeting with the players and committee to move forward with the salary cap and points system.

“The committee will explain exactly what is going on to make sure we are all on the same page.

“It’s important to start signing these players first and when we sign players midseason like we did last year there’s more stability.”