Top three hopes on the line

GOLDEN Square has no room for error as it chases a top three berth and the double chance in the BFNL finals series.

FORWARD THINKING: Golden Square star Clayton Anderson.

FORWARD THINKING: Golden Square star Clayton Anderson.

The reigning premier sits two games and percentage behind Saturday’s opponent Gisborne in the battle for third place.

“We’ve set ourselves the ultimate aim of finishing in the top three and to do that we probably have to win every game,’’ Golden Square coach Nick Carter said.

“The game against Gisborne presents a really good challenge.

“Gisborne were better than us on the day in round four and since then both clubs have evolved their game plans and their personnel.

“It’s probably our biggest game of the season so far and we’re well-placed to be in the contest.

“It’s about how hard we come out and how much pressure we put on Gisborne.

“History shows that every game you have with Gisborne is an arm-wrestle to the finish and I’d expect this game to be the same.”

The clash at MyJet Oval has all the hallmarks of a finals-like intensity and Carter can’t wait to see how his young players handle the pressure.

On Saturday Ross Culvenor will become the sixth under-18 player to play senior footy for Golden Square this year.

“We’ve exposed some young guys to the physical side of senior footy,’’ Carter said.

“Some of them have gone back to under-18s or reserves footy and then been recycled back into the senior mix.

“They’re better placed now compared to where they were at the start of the season or even at the midway point of the season.

“It’s a good chance for those young players to step up and say they can play senior footy against quality opposition.”

Carter said he will continue to use Clayton Anderson as a deep forward against Gisborne.

Widely-regarded as the best small defender in the competition, Anderson has moved forward with great success in recent weeks, including a seven-goal haul against Kangaroo Flat.

“We see the position that Clayton has played historically as a position that he’s owned over a number of years, but that hasn’t enabled us to play a kid or someone like Harry Donegan back there to learn how to play defensive football,’’ Carter said.

“We’re using it as an opportunity to play Ben Connelly and Harry Donegan in that role to help develop their defensive side.

“We probably didn’t expect Clayton to kick a bag of six or seven. We’re still working on our forward structure and Clayton gives us a great contest in the air and on the ground.”

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