Competitiveness the key for Mustangs

Published on Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Author : Josh Ward

The right plans are in place to take Reservoir forward according to senior men’s coach Justin George as his side prepares to improve on their three-win 2022 season.

Last year proved to be the Mustangs’ most successful campaign since their 2015 premiership, claiming their first win in 1715 days after defeating Lalor in Round 2, before going on to defeat the Bloods on two more occasions.

They also produced a promising finish to the season, with their last four defeats coming at an average margin of 106.75 points, well below their season average of 154.2 points.

Ahead of his second year at Crispe Park, George is optimistic that the groundwork from 2022 has put the club in good shape to make further progress.

“We put together a squad of eager and talented young players. That took us a long time to do, and we were still heavily recruiting through the first half of the season, but I thought once we got those guys together and we got our match fitness up, the last six weeks were really encouraging for the club moving forward,” he said.

“We’re not going to fix everything in one week, one game, one season or one pre-season, it’s going to be a sustained build, but we have to put all of these foundational steps in place.

“This is what we’re going to be about, putting in all the right steps, making sure everyone understands our culture, how we want to go about things and bringing in the right people to run the club.

“The club’s financially viable, it’s got good facilities, it’s got an engaged and excited playing list, and (now) we just want to take it forward.”

2023 will be a special year for Reservoir as the club celebrates its centenary year.

The Mustangs will play in a special centenary jumper and are in the process of organising special events to celebrate the occasion, all which George hopes will not only honour the history of the club but also inspire others to help grow the club both on and off field.

“I say this every year, the playing group are the guardians of the legacy of the club that’s gone before it, all of the past players and everything, you guard it,” he said.

“There are not too many clubs that celebrate 100 years and it’s a legacy that we’re really proud of.

“All the things (we celebrate) are to show that we’re on the right track, we’re going in the right direction, and that attracts sponsors, attracts people back and it attracts players. We want to make sure that we become a destination.”

With pre-season getting underway, George has laid out the key areas of improvement needed to not only avoid the bottom end of the ladder, but also take the Mustangs to the next stage of their development.

“While we were really competitive last season for certain periods of time, our fitness gave out and red time really hurt us, late in quarters teams would pile on goals. So, our aim is to be fit enough for four quarters,” he said.

“To be competitive, we have to beat sides that are below us, we have to beat sides that are around us and we have to be really competitive against the top teams. That’s our aim.”

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