VFL: Joel Tippett gets nod for Roosters' elimination final

DEFENDER Joel Tippett is a late call-up to reinforce North Ballarat Roosters' backline.

The North Melbourne-listed Tippett was cleared of lingering knee soreness after a training session at Arden Street on Friday morning.

Key tall Lucas Cook makes way for Tippett in the Selkirk Roosters' elimination final against fellow Kangaroos-aligned club Werribee this Sunday.

The Roosters have been missing from VFL finals since 2011 and are hungry to ensure their reappearance is more than a fleeting Sunday afternoon jaunt.

They have known for a fortnight now they are guaranteed and have been working towards this moment.

A hard mid-week session focused on how elimination final opponent Werribee plays.

Half the playing group adopted the Tigers' general style in a hard, solid hit-out.

Training vision was dissected and scrutinised, as is the Roosters' routine, to get the basic foundations right.

Roosters coach Gerard FitzGerald said his team was mentally and physically conditioned for the step up in finals football after a tough two weeks to close out regular matches against top-three teams Williamstown and Port Melbourne.

"One was at home and one on the confined Port Melbourne ground and both have felt like finals games with the physical nature and intensity," FitzGerald said.

"We want to put a lot of pressure on Werribee, we want to restrict Werribee's time and space.

"But the one thing that has made us a good side in our successful years and in our successful games this year was when we brought out A-grade effort."

This battle is on neutral territory at North Port Oval.

The Roosters have the advantage of both a good record at the ground and having played there last week in similar, slightly warm spring-like weather on a hardened surface.

FitzGerald finds it interesting that his team practises and learns its footy on the wide, windy and exposed Eureka Stadium but seems to thrive on smaller grounds like Port.

He said all he could ask of his players was for the trademark energy and effort that has underpinned their strong performances this season.

The rest, with basic preparations in order, would follow.

melanie.whelan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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