CHILTERN coach Kirk Wilson believes the Swans are re-energised and ready to make a late dash at the Tallangatta and District league finals.
After slumping to a 3-6 win-loss record, Wilson’s line-up returned to form with a 77-point demolition of Yackandandandah last weekend to stay in touch with Dederang-Mount Beauty and Wahgunyah in the fight for fifth spot.
“I thought last week was the best we have played since the Thurgoona game in round two,” Wilson said.
“To kick 20 goals in those conditions was a good effort.
“I don’t really care who wins out of Dederang-Mount Beauty and Wahgunyah on Saturday because, at the end of the day, we have to finish above both of them to play finals.
“We got a couple of players back from injury last week and, if we play like that again, we will be hard to beat.”
While Chris Anderson and Glenn Wood returned against Yackandandah, the Swans were dealt a shattering blow when Mark Doolan injured his elbow in the final minute of play. He could be sidelined for several weeks.
Doolan has played eight matches for the season after coming off a knee reconstruction, which occurred playing for Wodonga Raiders last season.
“Everything is structurally fine with Mark,” Wilson said.
“He won’t play this week — it’s a week by week thing.
“He slipped in the mud and put his elbow down to protect himself and it went on him.
“He’s had a shocking run and was just about to tear it apart.”
Like several clubs, Chiltern has been playing catch-up football for most of the season after losing to Wodonga Saints in round one before hitting back with a win against Thurgoona.
It then lost a naibiter to Barnawartha.
“I’m pretty happy with the way we have bounced back,” he said.
“We dropped two or three games early that we shouldn’t have and that has put us under a bit of pressure.
“All we can do is concentrate on Rutherglen on Saturday and take it from there.
“We will have some former players and Nigel Lappin at the game for a reunion and I’m confident we will be up for a big game.”
Lappin, who is the runner for Geelong, will speak at a luncheon at Chiltern before addressing the players in the lead-up to a clash against Rutherglen with their season on the line.