Coach Docking confident Tigers can roar

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

South Bunbury will need to turn their form around to defend the South West Football League premiership, after losing four of their past six matches.

The Tigers started the season as one of the favourites for the flag, despite losing six players from last year’s grand final team.

At the end of Round 3 it looked as if the loss of experience in Anthony Tsalikis, Shaun Crane, Tom Harper, James Kirby, Dylan Harper and Brady London would not harm the Tigers, but a shock 84-point loss to Augusta-Margaret River has South Bunbury reeling in fifth with five wins from nine matches.

Compounding the loss of personnel is injuries to key forward Brynn Francis, as well as Damon Bull and Kurt Cadman, who have all missed a number of games.

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Coach Mark Docking told the South Western Times his side’s position on the ladder was a “true representation of where the team is at”.

“We haven’t played anywhere near the football we want to at all this year,” he said.

“Going into the Bunbury game, as a coaching staff we could see there wasn’t the form.”

Docking said the most disappointing part of the loss to the Hawks was the lack of effort and as a result, a number of positions were up for grabs this weekend.

“In my opinion we only won one position on the ground that day,” he said.

“The loss to Augusta-Margaret River was not great.”

Docking said he believed six to seven sides could win this year’s premiership, including the Tigers.

“We as a coaching staff still have a lot of confidence in the group,” he said.

“I just don’t think they have the confidence in themselves at the moment.”

The third-year coach refused to blame the loss of premiership players in the off-season for the Tigers’ lack of form, but did acknowledge they had a number of younger players in the team.

“I think we are playing six or seven guys under 20 every week,” he said.

“I am happy to lose if we are giving 100 per cent effort and commitment.

“Age and experience is irrelevant. I just want that effort and commitment.”

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