Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes will be out to keep their brilliant home record intact when they host Griffith at Mangoplah Sportsground on Saturday.
The Goannas have not lost at home since July 2015 and have not lost to Griffith at Mangoplah Sportsground since 2011.
The Swans are flying high, undefeated after seven rounds but MCUE coach Travis Cohalan is keen to keep their remarkable home record intact.
“We obviously spend a lot of time there, training wise, and as was documented earlier in the week, for some reason a lot of clubs don’t like going there, they think it’s not that nice of a place to come. We think it’s a lovely place,” Cohalan said.
“We play the ground well, it’s a big ground, we do a lot of match simulation drills at training like every club would, we just feel as though we’re comfortable out there, we know the dimensions of the ground and we normally have a strong crowd there that support us.
“Griffith would say the same thing and the stats would back it up that they’re a lot better team at home and so are we. That’s the beauty of the RFL, you get to play everyone once at home and once away.
“We definitely love playing at Mango and it’s something we pride ourselves on, being hard to beat at Mango and we’re pretty glad that other teams don’t enjoy the trip there.”
MCUE will welcome back young gun George Kendall and Paddy Griffin for Saturday’s clash. Ethan Schiller is in doubt with an ankle injury.
The Goannas have won four straight and six of their first seven games to sit in third position on the ladder.
Their last two have been less convincing and Cohalan knows his team must lift to match Griffith.
“Absolutely, our work rate and accountability would have to improve significantly on the last couple of weeks,” he said.
“As much as we haven’t seen a lot of them, Griffith boast a lot of good ball users, a good midfield, a good half-back line and that’s obviously where they generate a lot of their run from. So if we’re not prepared to defend hard on transition when they have the footy and that means get goal side of them and get accountable, then we’re going to probably struggle.”
Cohalan and his wife Laura became proud parents of a new daughter, Ivy, earlier this month. He has no troubles juggling the new arrival with his coaching duties.
“I love it. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s the best experience ever, it’s amazing,” he said.
“I’m lucky I’ve got a really supportive wife, Laura, who understands that footy is a big part of my life and a big part of our family life and so is the Mango Footy Club.”