Focus on start a big goal for Pios

VERSATILE: Jayden Burke from Golden Square attacks for the Bendigo Pioneers in their clash with Dandenong Stingrays. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

FIERCE intensity from the first contest is a goal for the Bendigo Pioneers in Saturday’s TAC Cup football match against Eastern Ranges at Epsom-Huntly Reserve.

Despite a winless start in their opening four matches,Pioneers coach Brett Henderson said the team’s workrate had lifted markedly the past two matches against Dandenong and Geelong.

“Against Eastern we have to be switched on from the start of the game,” Henderson said.

“We have spoken about cracking in from the first contest and keep working.

“Now it’s about actions and mindset.”

Henderson said a key for Bendigo would be maintaining a high level of pressure when Eastern has possession.

“They are a dangerous team when they have time and space.

“Eastern flicks the ball around a lot by hand, so it’s important we pressure them.”

The Pioneers will not only work on strong defensive actions, but also on quicker movement of the ball.

“Defence is vital, but we have to look at attacking play and putting heat on them.”

Among the changes for the Pioneers are the return of Billy Mahony, Mitchell Trait and Kobe Mutch.

The pacy Jonty Marciano from Red Cliffs makes his TAC Cup debut, as does Eaglehawk’sMatthew Higgs.

The Bendigo and Eastern match starts at 1pm.

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