MCUE coach Travis Cohalan not interested in talk of Riverina League minor premiership

CALM: Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes coach Travis Cohalan is not getting drawn into speculation about the Riverina League minor premiership. Picture: Les Smith
CALM: Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes coach Travis Cohalan is not getting drawn into speculation about the Riverina League minor premiership. Picture: Les Smith

MANGOPLAH-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes coach Travis Cohalan is not interested by talk of the minor premiership ahead of Saturday’s showdown with Collingullie-Glenfield Park.

The top two teams on the ladder will meet for the second time on Saturday, when the Goannas host the Demons at Mangoplah Sportsground.

A win to Collingullie-GP will secure them the minor premiership, while a MCUE victory would draw the Goannas level with just two weeks remaining.

Collingullie-GP captain-coach Luke Gestier has not shied away from the importance of Saturday’s battle, while his counterpart is taking a completely different approach.

“It’s just another week,” Cohalan said. 

“We’ve still got three weeks to go before finals and we’re still building towards playing finals and we’re still taking each game as it comes.

“We certainly haven’t placed any extra importance on the week at all, we’re just looking forward to playing the top team in the competition and challenging ourselves against the best in the comp.”

KEY MAN: MCUE's Andrew Dickins (right) was the Goannas' best against Collingullie-Glenfield Park last time. Picture: Les Smith

KEY MAN: MCUE's Andrew Dickins (right) was the Goannas' best against Collingullie-Glenfield Park last time. Picture: Les Smith

Cohalan said the minor premiership is not on the Goannas’ radar.

“Absolutely not. And I can categorically say that we have not once this year spoken about finishing on top of the ladder, or finishing with the minor premiership,” he said.

“It has never entered our discussions as a coaching group or as a playing group. Our focus has always been on trying to do the best we can to finish top three, we never even set ourselves a goal to finish on top of the ladder.”

Not even the thought of a win over the Demons on Saturday is enough to get the Goannas’ excited about top spot.

“To be completely honest, no. It’s more about the brand of footy we’re playing,” he said.

“We still feel like we’ve been fading in and out of games and probably playing three quarters of contests, and not putting our best foot forward for three quarters.

“Our focus has been on trying to get a consistent brand of footy for four quarters. We haven’t considered the ladder too much at all, other than to say that, we want to finish top three and give ourselves the double chance.”

OUT FOR THE YEAR: MCUE's Jake Whitley.

OUT FOR THE YEAR: MCUE's Jake Whitley.

Collingullie-GP won by 41 points when the two teams met earlier this year. Cohalan said a lot of lessons we learnt that day.

“Last time we played them we learnt they are a very good team and the benchmark at the moment,” he said.

“They pretty much smacked us up around the ball. We got dominated in every single key performance indicator that we keep.

“We learnt that they are a very efficient, ruthless football team and we need to step up to their level. They’re at a level already and we’re aspiring to get to that level.”

The Goannas expect to take an unchanged team into Saturday.

The only bad news on the injury front is they have lost Jake Whitley for the season due to a leg injury.