The Young Lions will travel to The Bull Paddock on Sunday knowing they need to produce a full 90-minute effort against the Eagles if they are to leave Tumut with maximum points in round three of the Pascoe Cup competition.
While Tumut are winless after two games, they only lost to Lake Albert 4-1 in round one after leading 2-1 with 10 minutes left on the clock, before holding premiers, Leeton to a 1-all draw on Sunday.
Young coach, Duncan Cameron, rated the Eagles chances in 2021, and he wasn’t expecting anything short of a good game on Sunday.
“I wouldn’t write Tumut off,” Cameron said.
“I was surprised that everyone was saying that they were going to have a tough year. I believe it’s always tough to play Tumut, it’s a tough competition and anyone can win and if you don’t turn up on the day, you will lose.”
Young have had mixed fortunes when playing in Tumut, and Cameron admitted that his playing group would have to be ready for a 90-minute effort.
“You just need to turn up from the start, and if we don’t turn up, a team like Tumut will put a couple of goals on us early and make it really hard for the rest of the match,” Cameron said.
“I will speak to my players about the game, but it is a tough team and ground to come up against.”
Cameron, who took over the Lion’s coaching job from Mark Mellish this season, likened the Eagles line-up to his own, with both clubs showcasing a lot of youth in 2021.
“I believe that they still have talented team, they are a club like us, they have lots of youngsters,” Cameron said.
“We had heaps of changes from last year. We had two boys play their first ever first grade game last week, and for one of the boys, it’s only their first year in seniors.
“It was great to have them around that game day routine, so they could see what first grade was like.”
Young, who won first-up against South Wagga 4-1, went down to Lake Albert 2-1 last week, and their coach was still reasonably happy with the result.
“It was a very good game, there was a couple decisions, but that happens, and overall, it was a good game of football,” Cameron said.
“Last weekend was a test of where we will sit, because I believe Lake Albert will be up there this year, and I think we handled it pretty well.”
The Lions won’t travel to Tumut full strength either, with Cameron trying to work out his best 11 ahead of Sunday’s match.
“We picked up a couple of injuries last week, and I’m chopping and changing to see what will work this week,” Cameron said.
“We have our reserve grade team playing on Sunday at Junee, so we don’t have the luxury of bringing extra players to Tumut either.”
Regardless of what team Young brings, Cameron said it would give him and the Lions’ coaching staff more of an idea of where they sit.
“Once again, it is going to be a great test, and it will tell us where we are sitting and how we are going,” Cameron said.
Tumut Eagles coach, Lachlan Anderson, stressed how important a win was for his team, explaining that results on the board would be a true representation of how his side was travelling in the Pascoe Cup.
“A win would be awesome, it would really give us that extra bit of confidence,” Anderson said.
“We don’t want to be that ‘what if’ team that questions what if this happened, or what if we scored that goal.
“If those sort of thing keeps happening, morale may not stay as high, so a win is important.
“We have shown ourselves that we can compete, but now we need to show people that we can beat these teams and earn a bit of respect for ourselves.”
While all eyes will be on the Eagles first grade team on Sunday, Tumut’s third graders are also at home on Saturday when hosting Henwood Park.
The Eagles have started the Blake Trophy competition with two losses and will be eager to kick-start their season against the Hawks.
Eagles starting XI: Matt Casey (GK), Lachlan Anderson (c), Ethan Kass, Ben Johnson, Isaiah Webb, Murray Barratt, Reece Mastellotto, Jordan Sanbrook, Jay Casey, Ethan Parker, Rhys Creed.
Kick off times
Saturday: Black Trophy v Henwood Park – 3.25pm.
Sunday: Pascoe Cup v Young Lions – 3.20pm.