Re-signed Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong coach Christin Macri has his sights set firmly on finals – and no higher – ahead of Saturday’s trip to Narrandera.
The Lions have been the surprise packet of the Riverina League season to date, climbing into fourth position with just six rounds of the home and away season to go.
GGGM are only a game off third-placed Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes but are also only a game ahead of seventh-placed Coolamon.
It is a tricky position but one that has Macri not looking too far ahead.
“We’re just looking at securing our spot for finals first,” Macri said.
“We would still need Mango to drop a couple of games and win all of ours so we’ll have to wait and see but I think it won’t be until going into the last round that we’ll actually know what we’re looking at.
“Our main focus is to qualify and we’re still a long way off that yet.”
Macri’s appointment as Lions coach has proven a masterstroke at Ganmain Sportsground.
Appointed amid much doom and gloom last November, Macri has taken a young GGGM list to the point where a return to finals is likely.
The former Western Bulldogs player always viewed his return to GGGM’s coaching job as more than a one-year move.
“When I first took the job, it was always going to be more than one-year job, for me in my mind anyway, that’s what I wanted to do,” he said.
“The boys just needed a bit of direction and confidence. And confidence in the terms of belief in that they can just go and play footy and that I’d back them in. They’re a young group, they’re going to make mistakes, and that’s alright.”
Macri said the entire club is a great place to be at.
“It’s like a weight has been lifted off the whole club,” he said.
“You see people and everyone is really happy. That’s not me arriving, it’s just that people have said it’s a happier place this year. Everything is going really well.”
GGGM’s quest to secure a finals position starts with a trip to Narrandera Sportsground on Saturday to take on the winless Eagles.
Narrandera have not won a game in two years but Macri is not taking them lightly.
“They’re chasing their first win and they have gone close a couple of times recently,” he said.
“I’m expecting them to have a red hot go and try to get a win at home.
“It’s going to be game on from the start.”
GGGM hope to regain Angus Cumming and Scott Proctor from hamstring injuries. The Lions will train on Friday night with Cumming the most likely to definitely come in.
Narrandera are still without assistant coach James Bennett and recruit Kyle Archibald.