HEPBURN is throwing a lifeline to battling Central Highlands Football League club Smythesdale.
Just three days after smashing Smythesdale by 243 points, Burras coach Clive Raak will head to Smythesdale training on Tuesday night with head honchos of his club to lend a hand to the battling Bulldogs.
Having been around Hepburn as a player during hard times in 2001 before steering them to a premiership last year as coach, Raak said he sympathised with Smythesdale’s position.
He said he would do anything possible to help the Bulldogs survive, regardless of whether they were an opposing club or not.
Raak will head to training with assistant coaches, president Jason Dooley and about half a dozen senior players.
Hepburn has reshuffled its own training schedule to make itself available to help out.
“Obviously, they (the Bulldogs) are down at the moment and nobody wants to see a club struggle like that,” Raak said.
“We were in a similar position back in 2001. There were games where we were losing by 25 or 30 goals quite often.
“There wasn’t a good feeling at the club but we managed to turn it around.”
Smythesdale has lost every game this year by an average of 245 points and its senior football side has tasted victory just once since joining the Central Highlands competition in 2011.
A player revolt led to the sacking of senior coach Glenn Treacy two weeks ago, which came after a 342-point drubbing at the hands of league powerhouse
Raak said any calls for Smythesdale to withdraw from or be kicked out of the CHFL were unhelpful and unnecessary.
“It would be good for everyone if they were able to turn it around,” he said.
“Hopefully we might be able to give them some sort of boost for the rest of the year.
“ Nobody likes to see clubs going through what they are going through.”
Smythesdale comes up against Beaufort this week, while Hepburn has a chance to consolidate its position in the top four against Creswick.