MITIAMO will use a pair of practice matches against Bendigo league teams to sharpen their game ahead of another finals campaign.
The Superoos assured themselves top spot going into finals with a win against Marong at Malone Park last weekend.
But with a pair of byes scheduled in the final two weeks of the regular season – one forced by Inglewood’s decision not enter an A-grade team – the Superoos face a long wait on the sidelines ahead of their semi-final match in early September.
But Mitiamo won’t be lying idle, with joint coaches Jenny Clohesy and Kylie Piercy organising a pair of practice matches against Golden Square this Thursday and Eaglehawk the following week.
The practice matches figure to have benefits for all clubs, with Eaglehawk, which is currently in second place on the BFNL ladder, and Golden Square, currently fifth, both scheduled to have byes of their own in round 18 (August 25), a week before finals.
Saturday’s win sealed Mitiamo’s second consecutive minor premiership.
Clohesy, who led the Superoos to back-to-back grand finals as the lone coach in 2016 and 17, insisted the long wait to find out who their first finals opponent would have no impact on her players’ preparation.
“We came to that conclusion a few weeks when Bridgewater got beaten by YCW this might happen; it is what it is and we’re on top of that now,” she said.
“We’re happy being top, but it’s all very close up there – even the percentages (of the top three) are very close.
“It should be an interesting finals series;. we’ve beaten Calivil United, they’ve beaten us; we’ve beaten Bridgewater and they’ve beaten us; it’s all going to come down to what happens on the day.”
The Superoos have lost just twice this season, their most recent blemish a 55-46 round 11 loss to Calivil United.
Clohesy said their good form had been the result of an even team-effort.
“We have not relied on any particular player; Kylie and I are having trouble each week deciding our best players. It’s a great position to be in,” she said.
“We are playing a really great team game at the moment.”
In terms of a finals warm-up, the Superoos’ 70-21 victory against a determined Marong could not have been more impressive.
“Give Marong credit, they didn’t drop their heads at any stage; they kept on going the whole game, which is great for a young team,” Clohesy said.
“They’ve been very competitive all season and never stopped trying.
“Because it was our last (regular season) game we were keen to play the game out hard.”
Meanwhile, Maiden Gully YCW or Pyramid Hill will be a step closer to locking down the one remaining finals position when they clash at Marist College on Saturday.
The Eagles enter round 17 in fifth spot, level on 28 points with the sixth-placed Bulldogs.
Maiden Gully YCW holds a slender 0.66 per cent advantage over the reigning premiers.
A loss to the Bulldogs this weekend will spell and end to their title defence as they have a bye in the final round.
The Eagles play fourth-placed Bridgewater in round 18.