Dookie United coach Matt Maddison says his team needs to lift its skill level if it is to beat Waaia in this weekend's preliminary final.By Matthew Galea
Dookie United got the job done in last week’s semi-final against Shepparton East, but coach Matt Maddison knows a lot needs to improve ahead of Saturday’s visit to Waaia.
Just being in the preliminary final marks a fantastic improvement on last season for Dookie, when it was defeated in the first elimination final by Tungamah, but having gone this far, Maddison wants to go all the way.
‘‘We think that we can improve on last week,’’ Maddison said.
‘‘Our skill level simply was not good enough for finals, so we’ve got a lot of work to do from last week.
‘‘Our skills need to be at their best if we’re going to beat Waaia.’’
A date with Tungamah at Rennie awaits the winner of Saturday’s clash and neither Maddison or Waaia coach Greg Meyland have left anything to chance having watched their opponents in action last week.
‘‘Waaia started really well last week (against Tungamah in the second semi-final),’’ Maddison said. ‘‘The key to their game is their size, so we can’t play into their hands in that department.
‘‘That’s why our skill level has to be right up to counteract that size.’’
Maddison believed Dookie’s running ability could be key, after watching the Bears get on top of the Bombers last week with a similar style and said his side would be looking to replicate elements of that game.
Meyland acknowledged Dookie’s running footy could present a threat, but said he felt his side was more than capable of seeing off Dookie’s challenge to book in another clash with Tungamah.
‘‘It just comes down to accountability for us,’’ Meyland said.
‘‘We’ve got some very talented players ourselves, so hopefully they can stand up.
‘‘They’re a good side and if Patty McMullan fires they’ll be very hard to stop, but we need to make sure we’ve got pressure in all areas of the ground and stick to our own structures.
‘‘Really, all I took from watching Dookie last week was that Shepparton East squandered a lot of its opportunities.’’
Steve Gilmour will miss for Waaia with a calf strain, which Meyland said was a big blow for his side, while Dookie could be without Jamie Atkinson with a foot injury.
Meyland himself is unlikely to play as he continues to struggle with a foot fracture that has kept him out of action since August 3.
‘‘I’ve pulled up a bit sore from a job, so I’m more doubtful now,’’ Meyland said.
‘‘I want to play, because you’re never a guarantee in this sort of game that you’re going to get another chance next week.
‘‘We’ve got a tall forward line, though, and I think that they’re good enough to make the most of its opportunities.’’
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