ONE side on the fringe of being title contenders and one on the fringe of being a top four contender this season will do battle in round five of the Horsham District Football League.
Natimuk United will play host to Edenhope-Apsley at the Natimuk Showgrounds on Saturday.
Natimuk’s push up the ladder has been a testament to the side’s improvement in a short pre-season bracket and coach Sam Anson.
The side has managed to match-up with past premiers Laharum losing by just five points and title contending side Jeparit-Rainbow losing by 21 points in the opening four rounds.
The Rams have gone from whipping boys to a genuine contender that have the potential to trip any side up.
Anson said the game will be tough.
“It’s going to be a hard one for both sides, both teams will really want the four points,” he said.
“It will come down to who wants it most.”
Anson said he wants his side to put in a consistent effort.
“We are playing a good brand of footy at the moment but we just need to do it for four quarters,” he said.
“We will just need to hold onto the ball for long enough and stop their players from breaking away.”
Anson said coming out of the blocks slow was the sides downfall against Laharum and since then they have been working on full game intensity.
He said the interleague break gave his players time to freshen up.
“We were lucky, we only had one player in Jordan Smith playing in the squad,” he said.
The side has been working on structures at training.
“Mark Eldridge has been playing well lately and if he can snag a couple of goals that will be good,” he said.
“Jordan Smith will have a good chance at the weekend to learn from their coach Michael Rowe in the ruck.”
Anson is wary of the quality in the Saints squad.
“We will be looking out for the one that got best on in the interleague game, Jason Rae,” he said.
“But I think all of them will have an impact.”
Rowe said he knows little about the Rams so his side will just do what it knows it can well.
“We will focus on fast movement of the ball,” he said.
George Walker has a strong game representing the league kicking seven goals.
“He’s always dangerous in the forward line,” Rowe said.
“Lachie Middleton is in outstanding form, he has slotted into the senior side perfectly. Jason Rae and Matt Butler have also been in great form this season.”