HOLBROOK defender Andrew Taylor is confident his young teammates can carry the momentum from last weekend’s impressive win over perennial powerhouse Osborne into Saturday’s preliminary final showdown against Henty.
After finishing third with a 13-5 record, Taylor said the Brookers’ confidence and belief continued to rise after accounting for Jindera and the defending premier in the opening two weeks of the finals series.
“Momentum is a hard thing to stop and we feel we have done the work necessary during the season to give ourselves the best possible chance of having a real crack at Henty on Saturday,” Taylor said.
Henty has beaten the Brookers twice this year — by 22 points in round 6 and 33 points in round 19 — but Taylor believes Holbrook won’t be overawed by the experienced Swampies.
Rather than be daunted by playing in what will be some of the young Brookers’ biggest match, Taylor said they would embrace the challenge.
“We learn from every game and every loss we have had, we have taken something away from it,” he said.
“Osborne is, as everyone knows and history suggests, the powerhouse of the competition.
“To overrun Osborne in the second half and to finish full of running has given us an opportunity.
“Now it’s up to us to stand up and take that opportunity.”
After leading Osborne by six-points at half-time in the first semi-final, many neutral observers expected another classic Cats comeback.
But Twitt’s young side showed maturity beyond its years to kick 11 of the last 16 goals to run out convincing winners by 47 points.
In James Breen, Jim Grills and Jim Hodges, the Brookers have strong marking forwards.
Its midfield has a potent mix of experience, pace and skill with Twitt, Brett Doswell, Lachlan Trethowan and Tom Keogh.
But perhaps Holbrook’s biggest asset is its unheralded defence which ranks No. 1 in the competition.
Led by Dylan Fairall, alongside Taylor, Matt Doswell and Josh Jones, the miserly defence has conceded the least amount of points all season.
Taylor praised the efforts of young gun Grills who has lit up the Walbundrie Showground with two explosive finals performances.
Grills has booted 12 goals, the Brookers trump card taking his game to another level.
The livewire was one of several Brookers alongside co-coach Twitt, Aaron Baker and Brad Thompson, who missed the round 19 clash against the Swampies.
“Jim is a September specialist,” Taylor said.
“He has put in the hard work and is now reaping the rewards.”
After battling a crippling injury toll late in the season, the Brookers were expected to have a full list to choose from.
Versatile big man Brad Thompson, who missed last week’s win with hamstring tightness, was expected to come under consideration.