Fresh from the bye and preparing for a big clash with Lauderdale at home, we hear from Launceston coach Mitch Thorp about the burning issues out of Windsor Park.
On the Blues’ round six win over the Tigers…
“The fight back was pleasing. We went in at quarter time against the Tigers trailing by 17 points and well behind the eight ball. I challenged the boys and they responded really well, so to win by 10 goals was really pleasing.
“But that was two weeks ago now though, we’ve had the bye and now need to reset and go again against a very strong opposition and a team we really respect. We are very much looking forward to what the weekend holds.
“We used the bye week to rest and rejuvenate the group. We obviously had the bye last, so we have had six games without a breather, so we looked after the boys and ramped things up this week.”
On facing Lauderdale…
“We are sure there will be a response after going down to Glenorchy last weekend. When a good side loses they usually come out pretty strong.
“They are a strong side and have that versatility where guys can play different roles. We are well aware of the types of players they have who can swing from front to back or through the middle and we have got a bit of the same. The higher level you go and the better teams you play, the more versatility there is.”
On Darren Winter calling the Blues’ midfield the ‘best’ in the competition…
“I think that’s where it is won and lost. There is no doubt that their strength is in and around the footy and I think our strength is around the ball as well.
“Both sides have got some big, strong midfielders and strong ruckmen, so whichever team can get on top in that part of the ground will get the most inside 50s and therefore hopefully kick the biggest score.
“It’s where you get supply for the forwards, but also where you can help your defenders out by nullifying the opposition and their entries.
“However, I think Darren rating our midfield the best is just Darren being Darren. I think North Launceston have a few runs on the board, so we will just get back to what we know, get our hands dirty, win the ball on the inside and try to lock the ball inside our forward 50 from there.”
On the return of co-captain Jay Blackberry…
“Jay Blackberry will come in for his first game in the senior side this week.
“We’re just looking for Jay to get his hands dirty and tackle, chase and do the little things we know he can do.
“He’s played two games in the Development League now and he is probably one of the best kicks in the competition, so we are expecting him to be playing around the ball.”
On the rise of Fletcher Seymour and the Blues’ midfield depth…
“Fletcher has applied himself really well since he got to the football club. We have a bit of depth through our midfield so ‘Fletch’ didn’t start as a midfielder with us, but has sort of forced his way into it. It has been really pleasing to see him get his hands on the ball, be strong around the contest and add another layer to our Tim Bristow, Jobi Harper, Brodie Palfreyman and Jack Donnellan combination.
“It’s a good problem to have (midfield depth). Jay is capable of moving forward and kicking goals, playing on the outside as a wing or playing inside and getting contested ball.
“It’s certainly not a bad thing to have headaches as to who plays in the middle.”
On how things have changed since the Blues last met the Southern Bombers in round two…
“Being at home, we are a lot more comfortable and we have a lot of newer players now in the side.
“We have Alec Wright, who didn’t play last time and we have Grant Holt, as well as Jay Blackberry so our team looks a lot different.
“We have won three of our last four so the boys have got over the hurdle of not winning games and now it’s about getting into the contest, winning the ball around the contest and bringing the ball inside our forward half.
“We’re pleased it’s at home, we had a good game here two weeks ago, so we are looking forward to the contest.”