GRIFFITH coach Adrian Pavese is confident the Swans possess enough weapons to cause some worry of their own in Sunday’s preliminary final.
Going up against a Collingullie-Glenfield Park loaded with big names, Griffith has great respect for the Demons.
The minor premiers boast the likes of two-time Jim Quinn Medallist Jayden Klemke, 10-time leading goalkicker Marc Geppert, gun recruit Steve Jolliffe and champion Brad Aiken just to name a few.
But with the Swans in career-best form and riding a wave of momentum, Pavese believes there is good reason for the Demons to be looking at his side as well.
“We’re hoping that they’ve got a bit to worry about too,” Pavese said.
“Last time we played them there was no (Jordan) Iudica, no (Will) Griggs, no (Richard) Malone so we’re hoping they’ve got a bit to worry about themselves.”
Griffith has chosen to tag Jayden Klemke in both prior meetings this season, that were won by the Demons with margins of 48 points and 13 points.
Pavese said they will certainly pay him close attention again on Sunday.
“I think Leeton proved a few things last week, that if you put a bit of time into Jaydo, it does help. He still gets a lot of the footy but if you can put him under a bit of pressure when he gets the footy, that helps,” he said.
“We’ve tried to tag him twice this year and it hasn’t worked. He’s such a quality player. We’ll just try and make sure that every time he gets the footy he’s under some sort of pressure. But we’ve got to do that with every Gullie player, they’ve got so many weapons around the ground. You concentrate on Klemke and Jimmy Kennedy gets away. You concentrate on Jimmy Kennedy and Matty Klemke gets away. And then you add Jolliffe and Aiken and so on.”
Talented Griffith teenager Lucas Conlan is likely to get the job on Geppert.
“At this stage I think so, I think he will,” Pavese said.
“They didn’t have (Kal) Sykes the last time we played them either, so we’ve got to work out whether we want to stretch their defence a little bit, because losing that (Justin) Simmons, if we can stretch them by putting a good match up on Sykesy, Lucas might actually go forward.”
Pavese will finish up at Griffith at season’s end. He would love nothing more than to lead the club through to a grand final.
“It would mean a tremendous amount, obviously, being my home club and being the senior coach, it would mean a lot, but it would mean more for the boys that have put in for the last couple of years,” he said.
“A coach is only as good as his players, in regards to them buying into what you’re selling and they’ve bought in. I’m just really enjoying the fact they’re getting the rewards.
“The 18 months, two years of just drumming into them, take sacrifice and with sacrifice comes reward, they’re starting to see some of those rewards now so watching them now actually understand that the reason you run around in 40 degree heat and bust your boiler is the reward and they’re getting those rewards now and that’s the confidence they’re in.
“So personally, yeah, I’d be foolish to say it wouldn’t mean a lot but I’m more about the playing group. It would be great for blokes like (James) Toscan, (Jono) Gastin, those guys who have played a lot of footy for this footy club and had no success.”
The Swans have named key defender Ash Verhagen to return from a hamstring injury on Sunday. But he is no certainty to play and will be given until Sunday morning to prove his fitness.
“We’re still hoping that he’ll be right. We’re training (Friday night) so we’ve named him and we’ll give him until Sunday morning again.
“If he gets up, he gets up. If he doesn’t the boys have done the job really well. If he gets up it’s a bonus, but if he doesn’t, we’re still confident the boys will get the job done.”