ST ARNAUD coach James McNamee is paying little regard to the Saints’ ordinary record against Wedderburn ahead of today’s North Central Football League grand final at Boort.
Wedderburn and St Arnaud have met three times this season, with the Redbacks having won all three by margins of 106, 39 and 115 points.
“I’ve broken down their side and they’ve had 16 blokes who have played all three games against us,” McNamee said this week.
“And we’ve played against all their players who are in their grand final team, whereas we’ve got a couple of blokes (Steven Miles and Aaron Motlop) who Wedderburn haven’t played against yet.
“And we’ve probably got another five who have only played one game against them, so I reckon we’re going in as a genuine smokey on Saturday.
“You can watch a game of football from the sidelines and get an opinion on players, but there’s nothing like standing next to someone out on the field for the first time.
“We’re going to have some players that they’ve had no experience with previously, so that bodes well for us.”
St Arnaud’s appearance in today’s grand final comes a year after it won no games last season, losing all 16 by an average of 95 points.
The Saints were also winless in 2009, while they won just three games in 2010.
As well as their struggles over the past three years, it was a battle for the Saints to climb their way into the top four late this season.
With two rounds left in the home and away season, the Saints were two games outside the top five.
But with wins over Wycheproof-Narraport (95 points) and Donald (5) in rounds 18 and 19, the Saints snuck into fourth position on percentage from Charlton.
“We’ve been playing finals-like games now for about six weeks,” McNamee said.
“I’ve kept saying to the boys that it’s just another game of footy, but the stakes are getting a bit higher each week and that’s how we’re approaching Saturday.”