The next four weeks will determine just how far South Bendigo can go in 2017.
The young Bloods have been impressive in the way they disposed of the three bottom teams on the ladder and they were arguably unlucky not to knock off Eaglehawk as well.
They sit second on the ladder with a 3-1 record ahead of a four-week stretch of games that is as tough as it gets in Bendigo football.
They start with the unbeaten Kyneton at Harry Trott Oval on Saturday, followed by reigning premier Sandhurst at the QEO, Golden Square away and Strathfieldsaye at the QEO.
Even a two-two split from the four games would be enough to put the Bloods on track for their finals berth since 2012.
South Bendigo coach Brady Childs is not looking too far ahead.
“I know we play Sandhurst next week, but I couldn’t tell you the order of our games after that,’’ Childs said.
“With a young group we can’t look too far ahead. We want to prepare the best we can for our next opponent and that’s all we can focus on.”
The last time the Bloods met Kyneton they scored an upset six-point win at Harry Trott Oval.
Both sides have improved sharply since then.
“It’s only early in the season, but wins are so important and this has the potential to be one of those eight-point games that everyone talks about,’’ Childs said.
“It’s a big opportunity for the club because a win would be another big step forward for the young group.
“I think the two sides match up pretty well with each other.
“I don’t think Kyneton has the best list in the league, but they play together, they play good team footy and they play to Luke Beattie’s game plan.
“Kyneton is getting plenty of respect for what they’re doing and that’s what we’re trying to emulate as well.”
Harry Trott Oval is a far cry from the Bloods’ traditional home ground the QEO. The tighter playing arena is tailor made for contested football.
“There’s going to be a lot of pressure and the team that can maintain the pressure for the longest and make the most of their opportunities will win the game,’’ Childs said.
“It is a small ground and we did beat Kyneton at the ground last year, so we will take some confidence out of that.”