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Essendon Mazda Coach’s Comment: Ferrante happy with progress made

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Senior Men’s Coach Mick Ferrante is pleased to have got the Essendon Royals’ Season 2022 testing back under his side’s control but says lessons need to be learned from the first half of the season.

With four wins from five, including four clean sheets, the Royals have hit their best form of the season and have beaten some very good teams in the process, including Caroline Springs George Cross last weekend.

As a result, with their game in hand, the Royals to a certain extent can control their own destiny.

“I’ve been very pleased with the last few weeks, and especially the performance last Friday,” Ferrante said.

“A win is a win, but it was more the manner we did it against George Cross. I thought we played well and deserved the three points and to do it with a clean sheet against a team that has scored a lot of goals was important for us.

“It sets us up for a good second half of the season, and it means we don’t have to look too much at what is happening around the league every weekend. It’s one less thing for us to worry about.”

Ferrante says the good form and the incredible defensive efforts over the last few weeks have been helped by the club’s ability to field a consistent starting XI for the first time all season.

“I’m not sure we’ve changed a lot defensively, but the biggest thing has been able to field the same team for three or four games in a row,” he said.

“It just helps with everyone understanding one another and knowing where their team-mates are. They read each other a lot better and I think that’s helped us be a lot better defensively.

“The club and the physios have worked hard to get us into this position, and it’s something we’ve strived for all year.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s clash with Yarraville, Ferrante said the Royals needed to heed the lessons from a tough first half of the season.

“In the first half of the season, we dropped a lot of valuable points in games where, in my opinion, we didn’t show up,” he said.

“So we need to learn from that and understand that nothing is a given in State League 1.

“There are no games we should be winning on paper, but there are games we should be winning when we perform to our best. If we play well, we win games. If we don’t show up, we lose.

“The message to the boys is to focus on ourselves, play to the best of our ability and that will give us the best chance to win games.”