BENDIGO Gold captain Steven Stroobants says his side has the belief that it can compete against any VFL opponent this year following last Friday night's encouraging start to the season.
The Gold produced a competitive first-up effort against the VFL's grand finalists of the past two years, Geelong, at the QEO.
While the Cats won by 47 points, Stroobants said the playing group was buoyed by the Gold's effort against an opponent that seven months ago Bendigo lost to by 201 points.
"It was certainly a lot more enjoyable being in the game a lot longer than we had been last year," Stroobants said on Wednesday.
"Geelong has played in the past two grand finals, and considering some of the footy we played, especially in that first quarter, we're confident we'll be able to match it with all the teams this year.
"There's a lot more confidence in the group in our skills and our ability to win the ball against bigger opponents... that stood out last week.
“And we’re a lot fitter than we were last year after another pre-season.
“It’s disappointing we lost last week, but I think we instilled a lot of confidence in ourselves and got a bit of respect from the community about how we’re going about it.”
The Gold takes on the Werribee Tigers this weekend.
The game was to have been played at Werribee’s Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday afternoon.
However, it has been shifted to Craigieburn’s Highgate Reserve on Sunday after the Avalon Airport Oval surface hasn’t been deemed playable.