Russell: A step in the right direction

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A collective, unwavering effort is pivotal if the Blues are to get the better of Williamstown, according to Sam Russell. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jason Heidrich)

Sam Russell believes the Northern Blues showed positive signs in the lead-up to Saturday’s clash against Williamstown.

Russell was one of a number of Blues who enjoyed the 75-point win over the Academy, returning to winning ways after a disappointing Round 1.

Having featured in the opening round Development loss, Russell said the win at Etihad Stadium provided a good opportunity for the Blues to reset ahead of the Seagulls game.

“I think it was a step in the right direction, we definitely didn’t have the best start to the season at both levels,” Russell said.

“We had a pretty deliberate and focused week on the track and tried to get everyone back on track and ready to perform.”

With a number of youthful Blues running out against the best young talent in the country, Russell said it was important Northern stuck to their guns against a skilful opposition.

The way the Blues managed to run out the game after quarter time following a fast Academy start was one of a number of pleasing aspects to take from the game.

“The young boys out there had some genuine talent, they came at us pretty early but we were able to hit back pretty convincingly,” Russell said.

“It was a good game played in good spirits: one of the big positives was the way we managed to answer after the Academy made a good start.”

Additionally, Russell said the manner in which the Blues moved the ball while having a number of contributors would hold them in good stead.

“We were able to get our game going, we felt we were a bit restricted against Port Melbourne, so it was good to go some way to answering that.”

Northern will be on the hunt for their first win over Williamstown in three years, while also trying to open their account for season 2017.

Inducted into the leadership group for the upcoming season, Russell stressed the importance of a collective effort and mindset against a formidable opponent.

“We just want to go with a really united approach and play for one another,” Russell said ahead of this weekend.

“That’s when we play our best footy and that’s when we’re hardest to beat, I think that’s our main focus as a club going in.”

This Saturday’s VFL game against the Seagulls will be shown live on Channel 7, with coverage commencing at 2:30pm from Preston City Oval.

PLEASE NOTE: Saturday’s Development game has been moved to 11:30am, in line with the VFL game taking place at 2:40pm.