WANGARATTA Rovers star Jamie Sheahan says the Hawks took little interest in criticism levelled at the club from North Albury coach Jason Akermanis this week.
Akermanis told The Border Mail this week he was interested to see the Hawks go on a “spending spree” and land former AFL players Daniel Archer, Jarrad Boumann and James Mulligan over the summer.
Sheahan said it hadn’t impacted his club’s preparation for today’s season-opener against the Hoppers at Bunton Park.
“It’s not something I’d expect from our coaching staff, commenting on other clubs, but I guess you can’t be too surprised,” he said.
“It’s not really something we’ve thought or worried about.
“We’re pretty happy with how things are looking.
“The weather’s not great for most players, especially talls, but they’re all pretty mobile and get around the ground well and are good at ground level.
“All we want from them is to play their role and make a contest for us.”
Sheahan, in an assistant coaching role this season, said the Hawks would not be underestimating the Hoppers after an off-season rocked by financial problems and high-profile player departures.
“No, not at all,” Sheahan said.
“You can’t take anyone lightly, especially in this competition.
“They’ve got a few first-gamers.
“But they’ll be eager and ready to go.”
Sheahan said he expected today’s clash to be low-scoring after this week’s torrential rain across the Border.
“We just need to make sure we get our hands on the footy,” Sheahan said.
“It may be low-scoring and the more ball you can get in your forward half, obviously the better chance you have of scoring.
“It’s the first game and everyone is excited, because it’s a long pre-season, as everyone says.
“Hopefully we can play some good footy.”
Today’s clash starts at 2.10pm.