The build-up and the message he passes on to his players may not change, but Tim Ryan wants his unbeaten CYMS side to go to a new level in the Group 11 finals.
The Fishies have taken all before them this season and have some punters labelling them as unbackable favourites for this year’s title.
Ryan won’t buy into that, he said this time of year as a “whole different story” compared to the regular season and the coach is adamant his side will need to be better again in Sunday’s major semi-final clash with Wellington at Apex Oval.
“It’s the major semi-final and there’s a big spot on the line,” he said, the winning side moving through to the 2018 grand final.
“The intensity has got to go up and everything goes up, really.
“Especially for us, with spots on the line so you’ve got to be on in every training session and game.
“But everyone is excited and it’s a good time of year.”
Even when speaking on Friday afternoon, Ryan said he hadn’t decided the final make-up of his team for Sunday.
The experienced mentor named a squad of 20 earlier in the week, with the likes of Ben Marlin, Billy Sing, Jordan Reynolds, Corey Drew and Joe Clarke potentially battling for two spots on the bench alongside Shaquille Gordon and Hamish Astill, who have featured regularly all season.
John Grey was named on the wing, however he is in a race against time to be fit having injured his troublesome hamstring in the win over Macquarie earlier this month.
The opposition doesn’t come in to Ryan’s thinking when choosing the final 17, and he’s confident whichever way he goes a side capable of getting the win will be running out.
“It definitely is (a hard decision). But the good thing with a squad of 20, no matter which way you go it will be a good 17,” he said.
“It is unfortunate people have got to miss out though.”
The strength in depth has been one of the highlights of CYMS’ dominance this season and the powerful run to the minor premiership resulted in a week off during last weekend’s opening round of finals.
Ryan used the time to take his side on a trip to Mudgee, the hometown of prop Nick Harvey, where they trained on Friday and spent the night.
“It was good to get away and the main focus for everyone was on training and it was a really good session,” Ryan said.
The completion rate was one thing the coach said he would like to see improve this weekend.
The first grade clash is the main event on Sunday, with kick-off scheduled for 2.30pm.