MUSWELLBROOK Cats skipper Cameron Benkovic is “quietly confident” his young side can break its drought in the Black Diamond AFL Plate on Saturday.
The 2016 grand finalists meet old foes The Entrance Bateau Bay at Weeraman Field in a replay of last year’s decider.
But, there’s one major difference – both teams are yet to taste success this season.
“We’ve stepped up a grade in 2017 and each of us in winless,” Benkovic said.
“So, come Saturday afternoon, one of us will get their first victory of the year.
“Playing at home, in front of a local crowd, should provide some extra motivation for the boys.
“If we can snare the points, it will make it sweeter.
“We’re nearly back to full strength.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve searched hard to field a side.”
The Cats received a much-needed bye last weekend – and will enter fray full of running.
“It’s been a challenge [in the higher division],” Benkovic admitted.
“But, the effort from the boys is definitely there.
“We’ve got a lot of new players on deck and it will take a little while for them to adopt an AFL mindset and awareness.
“However, The Entrance Bateau Bay is in a similar situation to us.
“It will be a tough contest.
“We’ll need to use the experience of the more senior players to lead the way – keep a steady head.
“It’s also important to play our style of footy; hard but fair.
“And, do the one percenters better.”
The match starts at noon.
Afterwards, the Cats will host their annual Yabbie Races at the Railway Hotel from 3pm.
“We’ll have eight heats, plus a grand final,” club president Ken Garland said.
“First prize is $500.
“And, all money raised will allow us to purchase new equipment, balls and jumpers for the Cats.”
In the GE Women’s Competition, Muswellbrook made the long journey to the Adelaide St Oval to take on the finals-bound Killarney Vale Bombers.
Despite their best efforts, the Cats were no match for the Bombers, who ran out 138-point winners, 21.12.138 to 0.0.0.
Muswellbrook’s best players were Karli Anshaw, Paris Adam, Meghann Sawkins, Natalie Heard, Tavia Jordan and Ashleigh Barrowcliffe.