NEW Huntly coach Stacy Fiske says his main focus will be on ensuring his playing group gets the best out of itself over the remainder of the Heathcote District league season.
Fiske has stepped into the role as Huntly interim coach after Denis Grinton stood down earlier this week due to personal reasons.
"It's obviously not ideal circumstances and not the way the club envisaged finishing the season, but it is what it is and we just have to make the best of the opportunity we've got over the next 10 weeks," Fiske said on Friday.
READ MORE - Last weekend's HDFNL wrap
Coaching Huntly isn't new to the experienced Fiske.
He previously coached the Hawks from 2012 to 2014, which included leading Huntly into the 2013 grand final when it was beaten by Lockington-Bamawm United as part of the Cats' four-peat dynasty.
"Grints and I had worked fairly closely over the past 18 months and he had given me the freedom to take a little bit of training," Fiske said.
"I had mentioned to Grints earlier in the year that it (coaching) was something I was thinking about getting back into down the track, but it's obviously come about a bit quicker.
"I learned a lot off Grints. He's a very experienced coach and it's unfortunate this is how it's come to be."
Fiske is back at the helm of the Hawks in what's a rebuilding year given the club no longer has its contingent of travelling players such as Ryan Semmel, Chris Gleeson, Rhett Sutton, Doug Thomas and co.
The young Hawks sit second-last on the ladder with a 1-6 record and both the lowest average score for (59) and highest average score against (128).
"The main things we will be looking to do for the rest of the season is to get the best out of each other and that we aim to improve," Fiske said.
"We showed with our first half last week against White Hills that we were able to put two good quarters of footy together and be really competitive.
"But being so young and lacking some experience, it's tough to maintain that over four quarters.
"So we just want to build on last week... play at least two-and-a-half good quarters, then get it up to three and, hopefully, towards the end of the year we can put four good quarters together and win a couple of games.
"It's definitely a big picture focus at the moment."
The Hawks round out their first half of the season with a home game against Mount Pleasant on Saturday.
READ MORE - SELECTION NIGHT - weekend football teams
Huntly has won its past eight games against Mount Pleasant, but both clubs are now headed on a different trajectory.
While the Hawks are on the slide after four straight years of playing finals, the 5-2 Blues are laying the groundwork for their first taste of finals action since 2014.
Saturday's matches have all the makings of a cracking round in the HDFNL.
The marquee match-up features the clash of top v third as North Bendigo travels to Colbinabbin, with the winner to move a game clear in top spot.
Leitchville-Gunbower and White Hills are both jostling for the last spot in the top five, each with 3-4 records ahead of their crucial clash at Gunbower.
The Bombers, though, won't have to contend with Demons star Jed Lamb, who is out after following his classy haul of six goals against Huntly last week.
And an opportunity is knocking for Heathcote to win its first game of the season when it hosts Elmore.
1. NORTH BENDIGO
Record: 6-1, 216.8%
Record: 6-2, 165.1%
Record: 6-1, 144.7%
4. MOUNT PLEASANT
Record: 5-2, 116.2%
5. WHITE HILLS
Record: 3-4, 122.3%
Record: 3-4, 107.4%
Record: 2-5, 52.8%
Record: 1-6, 46.1%
Record: 0-7, 52.4%
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