Saints eye off win to confirm finals berth

QUICK FEET: Swifts' Ben Taylor avoids a tackle when the Baggies played the Saints in round four. Picture: Trish Ralph.

QUICK FEET: Swifts' Ben Taylor avoids a tackle when the Baggies played the Saints in round four. Picture: Trish Ralph.

Swifts will face a desperate Edenhope-Apsley outfit on Saturday.

The Saints are clinging on to sixth spot on the Horsham District Football League by six points, with Natimuk United breathing down their neck.

A loss to the Swifts and a Natimuk victory this Saturday will set up a final round blockbuster between the Rams and the Saints. 

The winner of that match would finish sixth and play finals football, with the other missing out. 

The finals equation is much less stressful for Swifts, having already qualified for finals.

It will be the first senior football finals series the Swifts have played in since 2014, when they won the premiership. 

Swifts coach Scott Carey said it is a big accomplishment for his team to be playing finals football again. 

“It is a huge achievement to make the finals, not just as players but for the club as a whole,” he said.

“It is a reflection of the quality of the new players we have got and the ones that have done the hard work in previous years to carry us to where we are now.”

The sides met at North Park in round four earlier in the year, where Edenhope-Apsley was able to give Swifts its first loss of the season, recording a narrow one-point victory. 

Inaccuracy in front of goal hurt the Baggies in that game, kicking five behinds in the final quarter to drop the match. 

Carey said that game is one of only few blemishes for the season.

“I think other than that match and the one against Harrow-Balmoral we have been pretty good,” he said.

“We let that match slip when it was up for the taking.” 

The Saints are in solid form having drawn with one of the better teams in the league in Jeparit-Rainbow.

Carey said his team understands what this game means for their opposition.

“They will have improved since we played them last, so we won’t be taking them lightly,” he said.

“They have been in good form the last couple of weeks and they play some good football at their home ground.

Junior players Josh Cox and Sam Chatfield will not play again this week after making their debuts against bottom placed Pimpinio last weekend.

“Sam and Josh will go back to focus on their junior football finals,” Carey said. 

“We will have three spots available, with plenty of people putting their hands up to fill the roles.” Marty Carey and Adam Leslie are likely to return for Swifts. 

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