Forget history, just let me onto the field: coach

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

MOST people are talking about Sawtell captain-coach Craig Wallace's opportunity to create history in tomorrow's Carlton Mid Group 2 grand final by becoming the first coach to take the Panthers to premiership glory since 1979.

Wallace himself isn't too fazed about all that talk.

He'd rather just run onto the paddock and try to get the job done for the blokes that will be taking the field of battle alongside him.

"It's all about the blokes next to you," the coach said.

"You take on board what happens through the week and you take the pats on the back but it's about doing it for your mates which is exactly what we all are.

"We've over-achieved this year in a lot of people's eyes but not ours. At the end of the day it's about the 17 blokes that are with you."

The hard-working forward has been studying the tapes of past Port Macquarie clashes during the week and all that study has left Wallace confident that the Panthers have got what it takes to overcome the minor premiers tomorrow.

"We beat them in the first round when we were understrength and they got us in the second round when we were not only understrength but we played what was probably our worst game of the year," Wallace added.

"We've enjoyed the week and at training we've worked on a couple of things. We know what we've got to do."

The coach admitted that as much as he appreciates it, he wants the build-up and the good wishes of others to stop and he just wants the footy to start.

"There's a lot of hype building up to the game and when you're at the ground there's thousands of people and plenty of streamers. At the end of the day though there's still 80 minutes of hard work to get through before anything happens," Wallace said.

"Grand finals are special, there's no doubt about that and players lift up and do special things in them but we need to make sure that we get all the little things right."



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