Old Melburnians head into Round 4 with “enormous belief” after claiming the biggest scalp of the year so far, a one point win over Old Xaverians at Toorak Park.
It’s a confidence boosting win early in the season that gives OM’s a real opportunity to catapult into the next month. 3 of their next 4 matches will be played at Elsternwick Park, the venue where all William Buck Premier finals will be held.
Senior coach Paul Satterley joined the VAFA’s For the Love of the Game podcast this week to recount a memorable day at Toorak Park “Xav’s and Xav’s, we all want to knock of Xav’s, the lads found a way so I think what we take out of it is enormous belief that we can compete” said Satterley
The build-up to last weekend centred around ‘Satts’ and it being the first time returning to Toorak Park since 2019 where he was the coach of Old Xaverians. The storyline became predictably irrelevant once the ball was bounced to start the game.
At quarter time Melburnians found themselves trailing by 24 points and a mountain of work to do to get back into the game.
Without Jackson Paine, Angus Cameron and an early injury to Cam Banfield they were very much on the back foot but against the odds, went to work grinding their way back into the contest and won the remaining three quarters of the contest to win the game with assistance up forward from Sam Dunnell (5 goals), Al Armstrong and Tom Baker (3 goals each).
“It was just an unbelievably resilient performance to hang in there and find a way to win..I just have enormous admiration for the playing group, I told them after the game I was a bit emotional” continued Satterley.
It’s a different looking Old Melburnians side since the last time a full season of VAFA football was played, when Satterley took the role as coach there were two players under the age of 21 but through a focused recruiting drive targeted at Melbourne Grammar they’ve been able to blood 11 debutants across 2021 and the start of 2022.
It’s a positive according to Satterley as it’s given the older guys a rejuvenation around their own footy “We’ve seen some great energy, a bit of hunger come back into the older guys, it just makes for an exciting time around the footy club” he said.
With St Bernard’s, University Blues, Old Trinity and Old Scotch to come in their next 4 weeks. OM’s could be heading into their Round 8 Friday night blockbuster against Collegians at 6-1 leaving the VAFA media team to discuss whether or not they are a genuine Premiership threat in 2022.
If performances like round 3 are anything to go by from OM’s, we will leave the final words up to the coach Paul Satterley “Absolutely, why can’t we!?”