FitzGerald aims for assertive tactics to lift new-look team

TAKING the game on through the corridor may make some white-knuckle viewing for supporters – and coaches – but North Ballarat Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald says, if done well, it is the key to the top four.

This assertive, attacking style is what FitzGerald and his coaches aim to foster in this season’s new-look team and already it has made exciting viewing in the Selkirk Roosters’ Victorian Football League assignments.

FitzGerald reiterates this was not to compromise full-team defensive pressure or efficiency up forward, rather to build on that and take his team to the next level.

“We’re trying to play pretty brave footy and develop the group to come back inside the corridor to drive the ball forward,” FitzGerald said.

“I don’t want us to play safe, conservative, risk-free footy.

“We see this as the way to getting to be a top four side.”

Such bold football has been evident in how the Roosters have reignited their game and fought back against Collingwood, Essendon and now Sandringham after opposition has seized control.

It will take time to perfect but FitzGerald says this group of Roosters has what it takes.

There are no reprieves in the VFL. Every game is a formidable assignment.

The Roosters faced Collingwood and Essendon, both straight VFL arms of their AFL franchises, both at their rivals’ suburban spiritual home base.

Sandringham arrived at Eureka Stadium off a hard-fought draw with reigning premier Box Hill, whose line-up was packed with quality Hawthorn-listed players.

Next week is benchmark Geelong at Kardinia Park. The week after, former North Ballarat Rebels coach Chris Maple brings his new, exciting Footscray Bulldogs to his old fortress.

And the list goes on.

FitzGerald said there was never any point in looking externally at the draw.

His players would review and break down their shortfalls against Sandringham, regroup and strive to improve.

Safe football, he said, was not the way to get there, but belief in what direction they were heading was critical to pulling off a formidable draw.