NORTH Bendigo plans to take Lockington-Bamawm United’s blueprint for success and use it for its own premiership triumph on Saturday.
The Bulldogs and Cats meet in Saturday’s Heathcote District Football League grand final at Huntly.
North Bendigo is chasing its first premiership since 1977, while the Cats are gunning for their fourth flag in a row.
Not surprisingly with the Cats having been the power club of the HDFL since 2011, the Bulldogs have studied what has worked well for them over the past three seasons and used it this year.
“It’s a credit to Lockington in what they’ve done over the past three to four years,” North Bendigo co-coach Rob Bennett said this week.
“Like them, we’ve based our side around guys who can play numerous positions and have an even spread of goalkickers.
“We’ve based our blueprint on the way they have gone about it and so far, it has worked for us this year.”
The Bulldogs were the dominant team of the home and away season, finishing two games clear on top of the ladder with a 15-1 record.
North Bendigo beat Lockington-Bamawm United twice during the home and away season, by 16 points and one point.
But Bennett - who co-coaches the Bulldogs with the experienced Neville Massina - was happy to talk up his side as the underdogs on Saturday.
“We still think Lockington is the best team in the league,” Bennett said.
“They are the premiers from last year and we’ve got to chase them and get over the top of them.
“They were really good last week in the preliminary final against Leitchville-Gunbower when their experience was really important in key parts of the game.”
Among the players lining up for the Bulldogs on Saturday will be newly-crowned Cheatley medallist Tyson Findlay, who polled 26 votes last Sunday.
“You can’t fault Tyson... he led the way during the pre-season and got himself in really good nick,” Bennett said.
“He and Darcy (Richards) and a few others who came to the club really set the standard at training, and a lot of the boys who have been at the club for a few years have really thrived on that.”