Brendan Fevola | Lavington Panthers talk of the town

James Saker has built his team on systems and structure.
James Saker has built his team on systems and structure.

SATURDAY’S upset at Lavington got me thinking.

The Ovens and Murray premiership race is a lot like the one in the AFL.

Albury was like Sydney going into last weekend.

The star-studded team, with a heap of gun players, on a massive winning streak and everyone’s favourite for the flag.

Like the Swans, Albury seemed so far in front of everyone else, people started talking about equalisation like Sydney’s cost of living allowance.

And you can say Lavington was like Hawthorn.

A team that was up at the top of the ladder and one really keen to prove itself against the side everyone thought was the team to beat this season.

And like the Hawks, that’s exactly what Lavington did.

But that’s not the only thing the clubs have in common.

Like the Hawks, Lavington still has a heap of injured stars to come back and now everyone is talking about them.

Hawthorn coach Al Clarkson is famous for his “one soldier out, one soldier in” saying and James Saker seems to have the same mentality at Lavi.

The Panthers beat us with about eight blokes out, and were still missing a heap against Albury last Saturday.

It’s all about their system and structures.

They’re well drilled and they don’t shut up on the field, trying to make sure everyone is in the right spot.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens when we play them in a couple of weeks.

Lavi will have to win to stay on top of the ladder and finishing on top in our league is like finishing top-two in the AFL.

You don’t get a home final, but you are in the best spot to go straight through to the grand final.

That would be huge for Lavington if they could do that.

As for us at Yarra?

Nobody is talking about us but that’s what we want.

I guess that makes us Geelong?

Not only do we wear the same colours, but we are the team everyone thought would drop off this year.

But we keep on plugging away.

Finals aren’t far away now, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s excited.

As we saw on the weekend — anything can happen.