CASTLEMAINE coach Shane Robertson believes there’s very little between BFNL flag favourites Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye.
Robertson has had a close-up look at the Dragons and the Storm in the past three weeks and was impressed with what he saw.
The Magpies lost to Sandhurst by 151 points last Sunday and 124 points to Strathfieldsaye in round four.
“Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye play a very similar brand of footy,’’ Robertson said.
“I’d take the day off to go and watch them play each other.
“The way they spread and take risks going forward is very good. They’re both very good offensively.
“The interesting thing for me is just how well both sides would go against a very good defensive team.”
Robertson has a wealth of experience at country footy level, including coaching premierships at Castlemaine and Hepburn.
Last year he coached Seymour in the highly-rated Goulburn Valley Football League.
“I was involved in the GVFL last year and there weren’t any quicker sides going around over there than what I’ve seen of Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye,’’ he said.
“I put Gisborne in the same group as Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye
“Those three teams would more than hold their own over there.
“I know Gisborne hasn’t blown teams away like the other two, but from what I saw of Gisborne I was very impressed.
“Gisborne is capable of playing similar footy to Sandhurst and Strathfieldsaye.”
The Magpies have been on the wrong end of some hidings in recent weeks, but Robertson took some positives out of the second half of the clash with Sandhurst.
The Magpies had only kicked 1.1 to half-time against and the Dragons and trailed by 91 points.
In the second half they had 16 scoring shots.
“I would have been bitterly disappointed if we fell away like we did the week before,’’ Robertson said.
“We’re improving as each week goes. Our best football is good, but our bad football is very bad. We know we have to eliminate that bad footy.”