Joel Pearson wins this contest against the Murrumbateman Eagles.

The Cootamundra Blues have finished off their pre-season campaign in style by defeating the Murrumbateman Eagles on an away trip last Saturday afternoon from 1 pm.

Cootamundra defeated Murrumbateman 9.4.58 to 6.5.31 in Murrumbateman even though the Blues were undermanned.

Joel Pearson of the Blues spoke to The Times following the weekend’s game.

“It wasn’t about necessarily getting the win but seeing where we were at as a team and seeing how we gelled,” Joel said.

“We were a bit shorthanded on the weekend, having about 15-16 blokes unavailable for the game.

“A few guys were working and had family commitments as to why they couldn’t make the trip.

“Even though we were a bit short, we still got the win so there were good signs.”

The pre-season hit out allowed the Blues one last opportunity to blow out the cobwebs and work on tactics leading into the season proper.

“We wanted to try a few guys in different positions and work on the structure that we’ve been working on in training and really utilise those skills in the game,” Joel continued.

“For a lot of the boys, it was good to see it pay off, especially for a couple of the younger guys that have trained hard over the preseason.

“A couple of boys played really well; Nick Simons was one that was really impressive.

“Another was Will Holt who won a lot of footy and put in a big pre-season, you could see he was reaping the rewards of all his good work.”

Cootamundra will start the 2022 AFL Canberra season at home, playing the Belconnen Magpies at Clarke Oval in round 1, next Saturday, April 1st. The Blues finished last season’s AFL Canberra 3rd Grade Men’s competition in seventh position on the ladder, with five wins and six losses.

The Blues will this weekend be attending a team bonding camp at the Jugiong campgrounds before the season gets underway next weekend.

“We’ve got a camp we’re going away to this weekend. We’re keeping it relatively close in Jugiong for one last chance to get everyone together before the season kicks off,” Joel said.

“We’ll be training out that way and do a hike and run, with the coach having a few other things planned for us.”

Tim Warren