Comets prepared for Orara Valley

COFFS Harbour supporters can relax.

Comets coach Warren Gilkinson has made sure this week that the new players to the club know how important matches against Orara Valley are to the club.

“I spoke to them a little bit about the feeling they should have and about when I used to go out and play them,” Gilkinson said.

“There’s no friendship out there, it’s a battle.

“If they play the way that I used to feel then they’ll smash them.”

Tomorrow the annual battle between Coffs Harbour and Orara Valley for the Ken Orr Memorial Shield begins again and for the first time in 12 years it is the Comets who are the reigning title holders.

With two wins in a row the Comets have started to find some form and find themselves sitting only a game behind fifth position.

Gilkinson said that the improvement from the early performances is there for all to see but he quickly added that there’s still a long way to go.

“We’re starting to get there, we’re not there 100 per cent,” he said.

“As I’ve said all along we’ll just take it game to game and when it comes to the end of the first round hopefully we’re in a position to take on the top sides for the second round.”

Orara Valley aren’t in a position as fortunate as that. They sit half a game behind the Comets after having a draw and four close losses so far this season by margins of 6, 8, 8 and 12 points. It’s a run of poor luck that Axemen coach Darryl Fisher has been lamenting.

“I wasn’t sure that we’d get two points for the bye to be honest,” Fisher joked.

The coach believes that the way to get his team back into form is to allow them a little bit of freedom.

“I think we just have to have a relaxed approach,” he said.

“The reality is already that we’re relying on other team’s results to go our way and I think the stress of hanging in there is probably being counter-productive over the last few games.

“So we just need to focus on enjoying our football and enjoying the things we’re doing well because we are doing lots of things well and hopefully not having that stress will make sure that all the little things we need to work on will start happening too.”

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