WHITE Hills coach Shaun Makepeace says his side isn’t getting distracted by the potential top-three ramifications should the Demons lose to Mount Pleasant in the Heathcote District Football League on Saturday.
You’d think the side that has beaten three-time defending premiers Lockington-Bamawm United and is the only team so far to defeat ladder-leader North Bendigo would be sitting towards the pointy end of the table.
However, despite the Demons having claimed the two biggest scalps of the season so far, they are fifth on the ladder after last week losing by five points to Leitchville-Gunbower.
And if they lose to Mount Pleasant at Toolleen on Saturday, they run the risk of not only dropping two games outside the top three, but also remaining in striking distance of sixth-placed Colbinabbin.
“At the start of the year, all we spoke about was just making the finals, rather than having a particular focus on climbing up into the top three or anything like that,” Makepeace said on Friday.
“People have asked where we’re at. We’ve beaten the reigning premiers Lockington, lost to Leitchville, which is sitting in the top three, by a kick after the siren last week and we’re the only team to have beaten North Bendigo.
“So we believe that we’re a side that is right in the mix and capable of matching it with anyone.
“While this game on Saturday against Mounts is big for our top three prospects, all we’re worried about as a footy club is just improving each game and hopefully, making the finals.
“Anything more than that, such as finishing in the top three, would be a bonus.”
The Demons have only made the finals six times since winning their sole HDFL premiership in 1988.
The Demons are a game behind the fourth-placed Mount Pleasant, which comfortably accounted for Huntly last week.
When they met earlier in the season, the Demons had three more scoring shots than the Blues, but were beaten 11.11 (77) to 8.17 (65).
“The great thing about the season is the opportunity to have another crack at those sides who beat you the first time,” Makepeace said.
“We’ll go into the game the same as we did the first time, and that’s just to go out there and try to play the best footy we can.
“We know they’ve got a lot of good players, but we’ll do what we can to shut them down and hopefully, we can kick a bit straighter this time.
“It was a tough loss last week, but there’s still plenty of confidence in the group and we’re really looking forward to Saturday.”