In what has been a big week down at Somers Street, the Melbourne Knights lightened the load a little with an important win against Green Gully on Sunday.
As well as new coach Andrew Marth’s appointment, the Knights are no doubt bolstered by opening up a four-point gap between itself between themselves and second-last Heidelberg, and Ben Surey’s long awaited return to the first team.
After a lengthy hiatus due to injury, Surey slowly worked his way back to match fitness in the reserves, before putting in an inspirational 90 minutes against the reigning VPL champions.
Immediately following the match, a visibly reeling Surey was nevertheless happy with the result and his position in the squad.
“I’m stiff everywhere. I enjoyed it, but it’s not the same as playing in the reserves. It’s probably a good time to come back this week, with the new manager and everyone’s got a bit of a buzz,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say it was Magdic’s fault at all, but sometimes clubs need a bit of a shake up. Marth’s a bit of a disciplinarian, but the performance today reflected how he’s had us working in training.
“Everyone was working hard in training this week and we played for each other, but I’m just glad to be back playing, because I wasn’t sure if I would be this season.”
Anthony Colosimo echoed the team’s sentiments about Surey post-match.
“I think the game was won in the midfield, having Benny back with Tommy Uskok, winning all the 50-50’s.
“Ben’s very important. It’s what we needed, really; someone who can work hard, fight and he did that well today.”
Adam Zilic, who was captain on Saturday in Josip Kozic’s absence, welcomed the response to Marth’s initial changes, but was weary of the Knights now not repeating the same mistakes.
“I think Stabber had a big hand in the result today, and let us know how big this game was to get our season back on track,” he said in the rooms after the match.
“What he said to us during the week had a big influence on the game today, but as a playing group we knew that sitting third last and the club, committee and the fans deserve a lot better than that, so that was a big factor as well.
“We’ve had some big wins in the league and haven’t been able to back it up. Next week’s the Cup and hopefully we can go on from last year, but we need to keep improving.”
This Saturday at 2 p.m, the Knights will look to emulate last year’s cup run, travelling to Trekardo Park to take on the Ballarat Red Devils, who knocked out North Geelong in the last round.
The Knights’ next league match is at home to Richmond on Sunday, 17 June.
The Eagles are also battling to steer clear of the lower placings after a slow start to the season.