SOUTH Mildura recruit Matthew Min has made an immediate impact at his new club.
The South Australian, who was a member of the Adelaide Crows SANFL squad in 2017 and crossed from the Riverland this year, led the Bulldogs to their first win of the Sunraysia season on Saturday with five goals in a best-on-ground display against Red Cliffs.
And he hopes success-starved South can build on that “winning brand” for the remainder of the season, starting with Robinvale Euston at home this weekend.
“We’ve got a lot of new players this year and obviously they’re going to take a few games to gel,” Min said.
“It’s a reasonably young playing group.
“The first game against Irymple was a tough one, coming up against the reigning premiers.
“But it was good seeing the benchmark for the competition and seeing where we need to strive to get to.”
The Bulldogs, who finished with the wooden spoon in 2019, responded like a team on the rise on Saturday, squaring their season ledger at 1-1 with a 33-point win over the Tigers.
“One of the things South haven’t done well historically is running games out but on the weekend it was really good to be able to run over the top of Red Cliffs in the second half,” Min said.
“We stuck to our structures well on the weekend but we also ran the game out really well … one of the aims for the group this year is our fitness.
“Against Irymple in round 1 we went away from our game plan a little bit in the second half so our goal this week (against Robinvale Euston) is to stick to it as well as we can and hopefully that’s enough to get the win.
“It’ll be great to get a win at home.”
The 29-year-old said he was settling into his role as a leader at South, and was confident in the direction the club was heading.
“It’s an opportunity for me to do some forward coaching and coach the new talent,” he said.
“It’s nice to help bring a club up – to help them achieve some success … that was the challenge and that’s what I’m excited about.”
After kicking a wayward 1.7 in round 1, Min finished with 5.5 on Saturday, admitting his “radar and accuracy is slowly improving”.
But the positive for South is that he is generating many chances in the forward 50.
Min said the Bulldogs want to play possession-based footy and hit the scoreboard more often.
“At the moment I think we play a reasonably strong team defence and an exciting brand of footy which is high-scoring enough to win games,” he said.
“We have some good one-on-one players forward of centre, so if we can get it into those people quickly it will help us be a bit more successful.”
Min, who is still living in the Riverland and travelling from South Australia for games, said he had been made to feel “at home” in his short time at the club.
“South is very welcoming,” he said.
“There’s a lot of hype around the club at the moment in regards to the new oval that’s being built for next year.
“Now we’ve got that winning brand back, that will help our cause … we’ve got that hunger for success and we’re looking to sustain it for the rest of the year.”
Story and photo courtesy of Sunraysia Daily