UNBEATEN and atop the table after six rounds, Bendigo Thunder coach Luis Alvarez-Harris hasn’t got too much to worry about.
But he is ensuring his side remains focussed despite a dominant start to the NFLW season.
Alvarez-Harris has taken the reins of the team and guided them to a 5-0 start despite a drastically different side to the premiership-winning team of last year.
Among the inclusions have been ace netballers Carly Ladson and Olivia Mcevoy into the side’s midfield, while AFLW-listed players Tiahna Cochrane and Isabella Ayre have also been solid late additions.
“We‘ve been a bit up and down but part of that is getting a few new players into the mix,” Alvarez-Harris said.
“With some of the players new to the sport it does take a while to get them up to speed, but we couldn’t ask more of them in terms of the way they’ve applied themselves.”
He came to the club by way of a connection with Thunder player Yaz Colley and said he has enjoyed the role immensely.
“The girls have been terrific, the whole club has been really welcoming and professional in their approach,” he said.
The Thunder takes on second-placed Keilor this weekend in a top-of-the-table clash at Weeroona Oval.
The club will have both its seniors and reserves sides playing, with the Thunder’s reserves team drawn to play second-placed Strathfieldsaye in the Central Victorian Women’s Football League from 1.15pm.
The club will also be paying respects to indigenous culture as it hosts its indigenous round fixture.
“I think that’s one thing the club does well and we showed on Anzac Day is that we get behind these important causes well,” Alvarez-Harris said.
“I think the whole club is looking forward to having both sides playing, with the reserves and then the seniors it makes it feel like more of a normal footy set up.
“The girls really like supporting one another so it’s important to make sure we enjoy these days when we get them.”
Alvarez-Harris said they won’t be taking Keilor lightly, having beaten them by 14 points in their previous match up.
“They’re a very strong side, they had players who performed really well at interleague level last weekend from all reports, especially the Wright sisters (Sarah and Gemma),” he said.
“Last time we probably weren’t at our best, but we managed to scrap away and get a win. I’d say our side will look pretty different on Sunday to what it did in the first game.
“Hopefully this week is the game that we put together that really solid four-quarter performance and can come away with another good win but we know we’ll be in for a fight.”
The Thunder takes on Keilor at 3pm on Sunday at Weeroona Oval.
– Joel Peterson