Lloyd eyes wins, not AFL milestone - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lloyd eyes wins, not AFL milestone

By Melissa Woods 17/04/2009 04:56:01 PM Comments (0)

Essendon skipper Matthew Lloyd says personal milestones used to mean a lot.

But after four long years without a finals appearance and no AFL flag since 2000, Essendon simply winning has become a lot more important than reaching 900 goals, which is in sight against North Melbourne on Sunday at Etihad Stadium.

Full-forward Lloyd, who turned 31 on Thursday, needs four goals to become just the eighth player to join the 900-goal club.

It's a nice milestone for me individually but I bet if we kick four and we don't win the game it won't mean too much," Lloyd said.

"Early in my career it was all about those kinds of things but now, after four lean years of win-loss, that's what it's all about now.

"I'd rather be 3-1 (win-loss) on Sunday night than 2-2."

Lloyd turned back the clock with a dominant, physical performance in the Bombers' four-point win over Carlton, contributing five crucial goals.

This came after a lean start to the season but Lloyd said he felt he was on the right track.

"I put it in perspective, that we were two rounds into a season and I felt like I was working hard enough but things just weren't going my way and on Saturday night things turned a little bit and I started taking the marks I wasn't taking the week before," he said.

"That can often happen, it can take a few weeks to find your touch but I've got to back that up, it was only one game."

Essendon assistant coach Gary O'Donnell says it's important the entire club found some consistency, which has been lacking in recent seasons.

"We haven't won a lot of games as a football club," O'Donnell said.

"To win three in a row, if we were to win Sunday, it will be a real feather in our cap early in the season to get our season going.

"The key thing is to start as well as we can against a North Melbourne team that have been under siege and are probably going to come out breathing fire."

O'Donnell said it was a "furphy" North Melbourne were still recovering from the infamous chicken sex video.

While Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley says the club is still "mentally fragile" from the public outrage over the tape, O'Donnell expects them to show their traditional strong club spirit.

"They're a pretty proud club, a lot of spirit and they traditionally play the game pretty hard and we've got to be able to match that."

Lloyd also expected a fiery start.

"No doubt, it's going to be red-hot," Lloyd said.

"We've probably beaten them once, round one last year was our first win against them in probably four or five years so they are a club that's troubled us because they've probably been more desperate than us and that's something we're looking to change."

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