HANDLING the pressure is a must in close games. Failure to do so, can see the opposition take the game away from your side.
Just ask Rochester football coach James Flaherty.
His side’s winless start to the Goulburn Valley League season continued on Saturday as the Tigers suffered a narrow eight-point loss to Euroa.
‘‘Our general skill level let us down at crucial times,’’ Flaherty said.
‘‘When the pressure went up we probably didn’t handle it as well as we should have.
‘‘In the end, it was a real learning curve for some of our guys.’’
Coming from behind at three-quarter-time in warm conditions was always going to be a difficult task.
Injuries again struck the Tigers, leaving the side with no rotations in the final term.
Jackson McEwen, Leigh Millard, Nathan McCarty and Nicholas O’Connor all watched on from the sidelines, hapless as their teammates run out of legs.
‘‘Our depth is really being tested at the moment,’’ Flaherty said.
‘‘It’s tough but it gives an opportunity for other guys to show us they deserve to be in the team.’’
Despite the issues whch the Tigers are facing, several individuals have started the season in fine fashion.
Doug Wren and Wil Hamilton attempted to push their side over the line but their efforts were short lived.
Although their performances didn’t go unnnoticed by Flaherty.
‘‘Doug has been super impressive in the first two games,’’ he said.
‘‘He is showing the other boys the way forward.
‘‘Wil is only young, but he’s moving really well.
‘‘If he can continue to give us two goals a game, he will be one of the first guys picked.’’
Things don’t get any easier for Rochy this weekend, as they host a rampaging Kyabram.
On paper, it looks like an easy for the visitors, but Flaherty is confident of shaking things up.
‘‘We’re obviously going to have to do a lot right,’’ he said.
‘‘But we’ve had good signs in the first two games and we’re hoping it can all come together.
‘‘Football is a funny game, so you should expect the unexpected.’’