Bombers deserve finals berth, says coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers deserve finals berth, says coach

By Guy Hand 29/08/2009 07:34:08 PM Comments (0)

Essendon coach Matthew Knights doesn't know if his young Bombers have got to the AFL finals a year early.

Nor does he care.

What matters, he says, is they deserve to be there after fighting back from as much as 28 points down to beat Hawthorn by 17 in what amounted to a sudden-death clash for a finals spot at the MCG on Saturday.

It ensures the Bombers will play finals football for the first time in five years - and for most pundits ahead of schedule in only Knights' second season in charge with a youthful, rebuilding list.

"I said to the players after the match I felt they'd earned their finals spot," Knights said.

"We've played (and drew with) Brisbane who are a top five or six side, we've beaten St Kilda and we've played (and beaten) the reigning premiers in the last round.

"We haven't seen any finals action for five years - it's been a really barren period in terms of finals football.

"It's a reward for the players to know we are heading in the right direction.

"Whether it's early or not I'm not sure, but there was an internal belief that if we played strong football we might be able to sneak in."

The Bombers have become only the second team since the top eight was introduced into the AFL to make the finals with just 10 wins in the 22-round season.

Now Knights is imploring his players not just rest on the fact they're made it to September, but to make it count - starting with their away elimination final against Adelaide next weekend.

"We've got to now have a solid impact in the finals, to make sure it's not just satisfaction we've made it, we've got to make a bit of a splash.

"We've got to really go after getting a win next week."

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