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Melbourne Football Club

We must be at our best: Stinear

There are no other alternatives, so we can’t really worry about what other teams are doing. I think it’s about us playing our best footy and getting 21 girls that are willing to compete and represent the club really well, every time they step out there
Mick Stinear

COACH Mick Stinear says his team must bring its best against Carlton at Ikon Park on Sunday, if it’s to keep its 2018 premiership dream alive.

With Melbourne third on the AFLW ladder – and only percentage separating it and the second-placed Brisbane Lions – Stinear said it needed to replicate the type of game it played against the Lions last round, this weekend. 

“For us, we’ve got to keep bringing our best,” he told melbournefc.com.au.  

“There are no other alternatives, so we can’t really worry about what other teams are doing. I think it’s about us playing our best footy and getting 21 girls that are willing to compete and represent the club really well, every time they step out there.

“I know Carlton will be disappointed with their last couple of weeks, so they’ll be determined to do well. But for us, it’s about four quarters of our best and we’ll see where that takes us.”

Stinear said few changes would be made this round, but defender Bianca Jakobsson (quadriceps) was in doubt to play against her former side.

“Following the performance in Alice Springs, we were able to bring about some change and we were able to bring in some younger players – Eden Zanker and Claudia Whitfort, who both did a terrific job last week. They brought plenty of energy to the group,” he said.

“We’d like to see those two get another opportunity – to build off what they did in their first game. We did have 21 players competing and working for each other, but Bianca Jakobsson looks like missing out with a quad. But we expect everyone else to be fully fit.

“Meg Downie missed last week through injury, so her name will be coming up at selection. But there won’t be many changes and hopefully it’ll be another consistent performance.”

Stinear said the most pleasing aspect of his side’s win over the Brisbane Lions at Casey Fields last Friday night was its competitiveness. 

“It was good for the girls to get back playing footy. We started the game really well, and we wanted to be fierce around the ball and we wanted to support each other in numbers,” he said.

“We generated a lot of opportunities early and unfortunately we didn’t capitalise on too many, although our skipper Daisy [Pearce] was accurate, which was fantastic early. As the game went on, we kept Brisbane in the game, with our inability to finish the game early.

“We were really pleased with the outcome, but there is certainly an opportunity to improve, with our inside 50 finish.”