Golden Square is league’s top dog again
GOLDEN Square’s coach Christian Carter has said believes the senior footy squad of 2023 has the hunger and quality to string more premierships together, just like the club’s golden era of 2009 to 2013.
As he reflected on a pulsating one-goal win against Sandhurst in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo FNL grand final at Queen Elizabeth Oval, Carter said it was a mixture of excitement and relief.
He had gone through the emotions of a premiership victory as a senior player with the blue and gold on four occasions, but this was Carter’s first as coach.
“It’s a long journey we have been on,” he said of the club’s run the past decade.
After a fifth consecutive grand final win in 2013 the Bulldogs had featured in just one more premiership decider since the club was runner-up to Sandhurst in 2016.
“This win means a lot to so many people, not just the 22 who played, but every player, official, volunteer, and supporter,” Carter said of Saturday’s grand final 71-65 result.
Now the Bulldogs are back as the league’s number one and enjoying an 18th senior premiership.
Carter said there were some anxious moments, especially the final term when Sandhurst had plenty of run.
“We train a lot on different match situations and knew what we had to do,” he said.
“There were some critical moments, but the ability to dive on the ball, spoil, and win several one-on-one battles was important.”
The leadership of captain Jack Geary was outstanding.
Playing in his seventh senior grand final, Geary earned the Nalder Medal as best afield for the third time in his career and celebrated a sixth premiership win.
“Leading into the match I spoke to Jack about one of the few things missing from his footy CV was premiership captain,” Carter said.
“I have never seen a better big game player for Golden Square than Jack.”
It was not all doom and gloom for Sandhurst as the Jake McLean-coached seconds team won the Harmac Homes-backed reserves clash against Eaglehawk by 17 points.
The Rob Kerr-coached Gisborne celebrated back-to-back SportsPower under-18s premierships as it defeated Golden Square by four points.