The Bacchus Marsh senior men’s team has thrown off a shaky start to the season by chalking up back-to-back dominant displays to settle into third place on the Ballarat Football League ladder.
The Cobras went into a round xix bye following a dominant performance against Redan at City Oval last weekend, keeping the Lions goalless beyond the opening minute in a 55-point drubbing (10.13(73) to 1.12(18)).
A week earlier Bacchus Marsh had dispatched reigning dual premiers East Point in a 31-point win (13.9(87) to 8.8(56)) at Maddingley Park despite conceding the first three goals of the game.
The Cobras now sit at 3-2, racking up 351 points and conceding a miserly 265 – the league’s best defence helping deliver a 132.45 for-against percentage, bettered only by ladder-leaders Melton.
Playing coach Tom German said the wins show the team is starting to gel together as a side.
“We’re coming together off a year without football and with a new coach and new players, but we’re really starting to gel,” he said.
“I’ve been really happy with the defensive efforts of all the backs we’ve got down there, at the other end the forwards and the mids are starting to put the pressure on and we’re starting to play some good footy.”
After playing with Mansfield in the Goulburn Valley League, German joined Bacchus Marsh at the start of last year only to see the COVID-19 pandemic force the cancellation of the BFL season.
The midfielder said returning to the game this season after a frustrating year on the sidelines posed a challenge for players striving to be at full match fitness and at the top of their games.
“We were very determined last year to get through the season, when it got cancelled we were disappointed but we understood as well,” German said.
“When you’ve had a year off it’s difficult, we’ve had a couple of injuries as every side across the league has, but we’ll have a few players come back this week and be back to full stretch.”
German said despite the disappointment of the abandoned season, the team stayed in touch and hit the field this year determined to make up for lost time.
“We had a pretty good list and coming into the season we just had to show it out on the field,” he said.
German’s philosophy as a coach has been to develop a “team first” mentality and for that to show in every aspect of the club’s culture.
“All the guys are there for the team, I can see just the excitement of that coming together,” he said.
“We have some really good experience, [playing assistant coach] Ryan Bartlett has been a real general down the back there which has been great, they’ve just been playing some great defense.”
While happy with the team’s recent form, German isn’t getting too far ahead of himself in making further predictions about the team’s run towards the finals.
“We want to get a few more runs on the board, we just want to keep playing the brand of football we are playing,” he said.
“Obviously missing a year of football we have some pretty sore bodies, so in that regard the bye was been well placed, but we’ve got to head up to North Ballarat this weekend and they’ve had a good start to the season.”
• Bacchus Marsh vs North Ballarat kicks off at 2.15pm Saturday at Mars Stadium.