Longwarry players after their win last weekend.
EDFL • Longwarry Seniors will this weekend have the chance to end their 50-year long premiership drought.
First published in the 13 September 2018 edition of the Baw Baw Citizen.
The side will face Nyora at Warragul’s Western Park on Saturday in the 2018 EDFL Grand Final.
The Crows will be feeling confident heading into the game after their 20-point victory over the Warragul Industrials in last weekend’s Preliminary Final.
“They’ve been a benchmark for a long time, so for us to beat them is like a feather in our cap,” Longwarry’s club president Steven Tuite told the Baw Baw Citizen after the game.
“We’re a little brother to them; they come from a bigger town, they’re a successful club, they’ve got a great ground, so for us to beat them is almost an honour.
“It’s a shame, almost, but hey you take all the wins.”
Longwarry coach Daniel Fry said his side was “a really good bunch of guys,” and some solid club foundations has helped them get this far.
Crows reach for the prize at last weekend’s Preliminary against Warragul.
“We needed to book a spot, we’ve booked it, that’s it,” he told the Baw Baw Citizen.
“We have good coaches at all levels, whether it’s senior level or junior level, and that extends through our Warragul District junior program as well.
“We’ve got great mentors in charge there, and obviously there’s a flow-on effect to the senior club.”
Daniel said Longwarry likely won’t make big changes to its play style in the Grand Final.
“I don’t think we need to do a lot different… to be able to beat Nyora next week,” he said.
“Obviously we’re going to be up against it, but who doesn’t like being an underdog?
“This group of people, the club as a whole, it’s bigger than just the 21 guys who are going to run out next weekend. We’ll be carrying the expectation of a lot of people, and we’ll be carrying 50 years of history with us through next week.
“If that’s not enough to get us over the line, then nothing else will.”
Steve said the game would be a tough one for Longwarry.
“We haven’t beaten them, they’ve got some tall timber which we’ve gotta take care of, their coach is one of the best players in the league, their full forward kicked a goal from nearly the wing last week,” he said.
“They’re pretty hard to stop.
“It has been 50 years this year since we won a seniors premiership, but you take anything
“It’s the perfect storm, isn’t it. If we can do it, but who knows?”
Steve praised Daniel’s work in getting the club finals-ready despite organisational problems.
“Our coach last year stepped into a club that was bereft of executives; we didn’t have a treasurer, we didn’t have a secretary,” Steve said.
“He came in and took the club on his shoulders and he’s carried us all the way, I cannot speak highly enough of him, I really can’t.”
The significance of a Crows win this year is not lost on league president Roger Gwynne.
“I’m really happy that Longwarry has made the grand final. Whether they can win it or not is surely in the lap of the gods at the moment,” Roger told the Baw Baw Citizen.
“I’m an ex-Nyora bloke, I’m a life member there, but I would probably like to see Longwarry get up and win one.
“It has been 50-odd years, and they’re a great bunch of people who I think have worked really hard to get where they are and it will be a pleasure to see them come up.”
Asked who he thought would win the final, Roger said “I reckon it’ll be a toss of the coin.”
“Longwarry are a very very fast side, they’re organised, they’ve got a good game plan. Nyora have a good game plan, they man up real well against Longwarry, and if they can curve their forward power… and a couple of guys in the centre, I think they could win.”
“But other than that I think it’ll be a very close game.”
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