THE NEXT month will go a long way toward shaping how North Ballarat fares in the Victorian Football League this season.
And coach Gavin Crosisca knows it.
The Roosters need to string together a series of wins and Crosisca wants this to begin against reigning premier Sandringham at Ballarat's Austar Arena today.
North Ballarat is reasonably well placed on four wins in eight games, but has to get some genuine momentum going and with matches against Geelong, Frankston and Tasmania coming up that is well within reach.
The Roosters have already beaten Geelong and Tassie, while Frankston is well and truly beatable.
Crosisca is planning to use height and muscle power in attack in the form of Stephen Jurica, Hugh Foott and Mark Porter to bring the Zebras down.
"They've struggled against big forwards," he said as he plotted Sandringham's downfall yesterday.
Crosisca is also looking to North Ballarat to carry on from where it left off against Werribee in their attack on the football and the man.
Although the Tigers took away the premiership points, Crosisca was upbeat by what he saw from the Roosters.
"It was a top effort against a top team.
"Our attack on the football and the man was what I have been expecting all year.
"I want it to be over the top. It needs to be over the top," he said.
North Ballarat still needs more out of the likes of AFL-experienced Jim Plunkett and Anthony Franchina, who Crosisca has been rotating through interchange.
With conditions likely to be wet underfoot, Franchina might be one player who benefits from these conditions and adds to what Julian Field, Marc Greig, Shane Hutchinson and Andrew Eccles have already shown.
As always North Ballarat's defence will need to be on their mettle to ensure champion full forward Nick Sautner does not get a chance to build his confidence.
Justin McConnell has been a real surprise packet this year and with Jarrod McCorkell and Cameron Wright will be integral in stopping Sandringham's forward menace.
THIS WEEKEND'S VFL GAMES: today, Coburg v Port Melbourne, Tasmania v Werribee, North Ballarat v Sandringham at Austar Arena 2pm; tomorrow, Geelong v Scorpions, Northern Bullants v Frankston; Monday, Bendigo
v Box Hill, Williamstown bye.