Coach’s last test

August 11, 2017

Deni Rovers president Wally Bulmer (right) with playing-coach Nick Braybon.

Deni Rovers coach Nick Braybon will lead the side for one last time when they host Picola League ladder leader Picola United in the final round of the season tomorrow.

Braybon will close the book on his coaching career in front of what is expected to be a bumper home crowd at Memorial Park.

The key position player won’t line up for the Roos for the clash due to injury, however he intends to play on in 2018.

Braybon said it’s been an exciting three years at the helm.

‘‘When I first arrived the team struggled and we were down at the bottom of the ladder,’’ he said.

‘‘We worked our way up the ladder and managed to play finals last year but just couldn’t figure it out this year.

‘‘I’m proud of what we did to build the club up and it would’ve been nice to have a fairytale ending, but that’s just not how it works out.

‘‘I’m just as passionate as anyone from the Deni Rovers about getting that first premiership win so it’s disappointing that I couldn’t do that for the club.’’

With the Roos sitting outside the top five in sixth position and Picola on top, barring a miracle (and something around the mark of a 260-52 scoreline tomorrow in favour of the home side), neither team will move positions on the ladder after the result.

But Braybon said there would be no better way for his club to finish the year than with a win in what is the league’s biggest challenge.

‘‘We matched it with Picola last time but one bad quarter proved the difference,’’ he said.

‘‘If we can play the high level of footy that we’re capable of for a sustained period of time then we’re every chance to finish the season on a high.

‘‘We’ll look to replicate the aggression on the ball that we had against Tocumwal last week.

‘‘We have had questionable performances in front of our home crowd so we’ll be out to give them something to cheer about.’’

The Roos are expected to go into the game unchanged, with key forward Brody Lumber still unable to play despite early hopes that he may return for the clash.

In Lumber’s absence, Rovers forward Terry Lumbar has been a key target for his side, kicking 33 goals from the past six games. He will most likely have Dean Holyman or John Walker line up on him.

Deni’s Brendan Hope and Brayden Jones will be crucial in containing Taylor Beard and Tom Byrnes, while having to keep an eye out for onballer Adam Jorgenson, who has kicked 38 goals this season.

Jorgenson and his brother Blake will go head to head with Tanner Robertson and Addison Milner in the middle of the ground with both sides having plenty of midfield rotations.

Selection: Picola by three goals.

~ Jamie Lowe

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