AJ Mithen catches up with Senior Coach Paul Satterley

The equation for De La Salle this week is simple: Beat Old Melburnians and guarantee a finals place.

But it won’t be easy unless the Dees can right the wrongs of last week, when they gave up a five goal lead before going down to second-placed Collegians.

Senior Coach Paul Satterley was frustrated with the result at Harry Trott and knows a repeat performance won’t get the job done.

“We did really well to get that five goal lead,” he says. “As much as they continually came at us, I thought we had ourselves to blame for some poor ball use, missed opportunities at goal and we also gave away some chances that we shouldn’t have.”

“When we did our review, it wasn’t a high scoring game but there were certainly a number of goals that with some smarter decision making we could have prevented.”

Goalkicking accuracy was again a problem, with the return of 9.16 a huge factor in not being able to put Collegians away.

The Dees have won three of their last five games, but they’ve closer results than they needed to be. In those five games they’ve kicked 46.57 and have only kicked more goals than points once. De La are 174.196 on the season and in real need of a good run in front of goal to reward their strong efforts.

“It has been an issue throughout different games this year,” Satterley says. “We work so hard to create opportunities to score that if you miss, certainly if you miss a sitter, it can be demoralising for the team. We’ve challenged the guys to get working on that and improving.”

A finals spot is within reach and Satterley knows his side is prepared and focused for this critical showdown.

“We don’t want to work ourselves into a massive frenzy,” he says. “We understand that it’s an opportunity to cement a finals berth and the way to do that is to continue the effort we’ve been putting in each week, we’d never question that.”

“We’re being composed about what we want to achieve without turning the place into mass hysteria – we just intend to go about our business.”

Old Melburnians are looking for their third straight win and an unlikely finals spot. De La took the first meeting by 28 points in round three but it’s worth mentioning that if not for their round one match against Beaumaris being abandoned, OM’s could well be in De La’s shoes right now.

Satterley is relishing the chance to test his side in a tough, hard contest in front of what should be a bumper crowd of blue and gold.

“The last five weeks we’ve competed really hard and whether we lost like last week or we’ve kept teams in it, it’s really been of our own doing,” he says. “If we tidy up that part of our game then we hold a good chance of knocking off OM’s, who are in really good nick and on a bit of a run at the moment.”

“They’ll be coming in feeling pretty good about themselves – it will be a big challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”

De La Salle face Old Melburnians at Waverley Oval, 2pm Saturday August 26. Don’t miss this one!

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