AJ Mithen catches up with Senior Coach Paul Satterley

Round thirteen sees De La Salle make the short trip to TH King Reserve and the biggest challenge in the VAFA Premier division, St Kevins.

De La’s Senior Coach Paul Satterley is confident his side will meet the challenge posed by the runaway competition leaders.

“We’ve got a bit of momentum around the footy club now which is good. We’re in a good spot to challenge someone like St Kevins who have been the benchmark all year,” Satterley said.

De La have lifted for their games against the top sides in 2017, with tight, close outings against Collegians, Uni Blues and Old Xavs. There’s no reason to expect anything different this week.

“It’s a funny one – we really do set ourselves for these games,” Satterley said. “The players have a really good awareness that we need to get everything right, whether it’s the coaching, the homework we do on the opposition and the way the players prepare… You can see that we’re up for these sort of challenges, which is really encouraging.”

St Kevins are six points clear in first and leading all comers on ‘points for’ by 23 goals. The Dees’ defence will be tested, but they’ve shown they can match it with the best.

“SKOBS play such an offensive brand of footy, we know they’re a high scoring team and if you just let them run their own race they’re very capable of kicking high scores,” Satterley said.

De La’s defence has been a feature of the season. It’s the third best going on points allowed and is key to De La’s game plan, setting up run and carry to build momentum.

“It’s going to be of those games of highly contested footy,” Satterley said. “They’re a really tough team and without question, we need to be sure we’re really strong and combative defensively and make sure when we have our chances in front of goal we need to nail them.”

Satterley’s last point is particularly important. In the round two matchup with SKOBS, the Dees kicked themselves out of the game with 9.15. They’re 128.139 on the season and it’s stating the obvious to say their goal kicking must improve if the club wants to make a splash in September.

Accuracy issues aside, the Dees are six points clear in the top four after a grinding win over St Bede’s-Mentone. The win avenged a surprise loss earlier in the season and Satterley is happy with how his side is running out these tough, tight games.

“St Bedes are one of those sides, they knocked us over earlier in the year and you can’t let the ladder position fool you. They threw everything at us. When we look back at that game we are glad to take the points and move on. Every win is vital and we can’t afford to drop games.”

Satterley knows how critical it is for his team to keep their momentum going, regardless of De La’s position on the ladder.

“If we can steal one this week it will go a long way in helping to lock us in the top four.“

“Win lose or draw, we’ll throw everything at them and see where it lands us.”

De La take to TH King Oval at 2pm this Saturday.

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