Matt Swindells and Jaxson Kinnear celebrate one of Kilmore's 24 goals during a big win against Reservoir in May 2021..

KILMORE is using an enforced COVID-19 layoff to freshen up and refocus as it prepares for an assault on the Northern Football Netball League division three premiership.

The Blues are third on the ladder with eight wins and three losses, trailing only 9-2 Laurimar and undefeated South Morang.

Kilmore was slated to play the Power last Saturday, with a match against the Lions this weekend also likely to be postponed or scrapped due to Victoria’s lockdown restrictions.

While coach Nathan Phillips said his charges were disappointed, they remained committed to their goal of a premiership.

“It’s a good sign that they are still hungry and keen to play. It’s not getting to that point where anyone is starting to get over it,” he said.

“When it starts to get wet and cold sometimes it can be easy to start to find excuses not to get to training and do those sorts of things, but the boys have been up and about and messaging each other.

“They’re letting each other know all the things they have been doing during the lockdown to stay fit and posting their runs and workouts and stuff like that. I think they’re in as good a spirit as they can be.”

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Phillips said the break could be a blessing in disguise, as it gave players a chance to recover from injuries.

But he said the Blues were far from shying away from Laurimar and South Morang.

“Having a couple of weeks off might be good in the sense that we’ve got a couple of guys who have missed some time with injuries,” he said.

“Availability of your best players is one thing that factors into how you’re going to perform, and when we’re at full strength I think we’re a match for anyone in the competition.

“Obviously you want to test yourself against the best and I think the boys have a little bit to prove against both sides – the way we lost it late against Laurimar in round one, and then playing really poorly against South Morang.

“That hurt the boys’ pride a little bit, so I know they were keen to be able to have another crack at both sides.”

Kilmore hopes players like Bailey Taylor-Egan will return refreshed from the current COVID-19 lockdown after missing games due to injury before the break. ​

Phillips said he hoped the league would consider altering the fixture to give Kilmore a chance to play both sides for a second time before the finals.

“Our last two games are scheduled to be two sides that we play for the third time,” he said.

“I don’t know if that’s across the board for those two weeks, but if it is, it would make sense to play the three games that we’ve missed rather than the last three so that everyone plays each other twice.”

Now, Phillips said Kilmore’s mission was to refocus tactically.

“It’s about rehoning on our game plan, because every year we seem to have a little period where we shy away from playing footy the way we want to play and the way we know works for us,” he said.

“We end up having a few bad weeks, and we’ve done that the past couple of weeks.

“When we get the footy on the outside we’re able to use our pace and our skills, but then the past couple of weeks we went to playing contested footy and allowed it to become a scrap.

“As long as we can execute our game plan I think it’ll see us go hopefully all the way into the finals.”

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