Fraser praises resilience, character

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Josh Fraser praised the fight and drive of his playing group in a memorable after-the-siren win. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rose Zarucky)

RESILIENCE and character are what defined the Northern Blues’ after-the-siren win at the weekend.

Having led Port Melbourne for the entirety of the contest, Northern found itself down with less than a minute remaining.

Up stepped VFL-listed youngster Jean-Luc Velissaris as the siren went — and the rest was history.

Leading the Blues to their first win over the Borough in nine years, VFL Senior Coach Josh Fraser said he was delighted for the playing group.

“It was a terrific day. I thought for most of the day, we were the better team,” Fraser said.

“We showed some resilience and character to be able to finish the game.

“The goal after the siren was pretty exciting, particularly when JL kicked it.

“I’m really pleased for the boys.”

With seven changes leading into the game, Northern called upon its VFL talent to go with Carlton’s youth in a stirring win.

The victory sees the Blues now sit percentage outside of the top eight, with a game in hand.

“It gives them confidence — we’ve got a different group,” he said.

“Our history against Port Melbourne hasn’t been great, but we had a lot of young players in — both AFL-listed and VFL-listed.

“I think we saw a hunger to compete, the ability to stay in the contest for long enough and taking our chances when it mattered.”

Fraser said the victory was reward for effort for his charges, and something which could hopefully springboard Northern into the second half of the season.

“We’re seeing some really good signs each week,” he said.

“The last couple of weeks have been frustrating because we haven’t got a result: it was pleasing to get the win.

“We’re continuing to challenge a lot of our players around owning their moments and continuing to develop their game.”

The Northern Blues will take on Williamstown this Sunday at Preston City Oval from 1pm. Please note, the game was originally scheduled for Ikon Park before being moved at the beginning of the season.