As the final siren blew, Picola’s back-to-back premiership coach Jon Varcoe wiped away the tears from his eyes before clenching his fist in admiration for his side.
Varcoe, who has been coaching for more than 10 years, emotionally praised his gallant side after its 18-point victory against Strathmerton on Saturday.
‘‘It was a special win, the boys dug in deep, we didn’t have it all our way, but we came out and played brilliant football in that third term,’’ Varcoe said.
‘‘We had our backs up against the wall in the second quarter and I thought we defended brilliantly.
‘‘We regrouped after half-time and I could not have asked for much more in that second half.’’
The tactically astute coach brought on substitute Kian Wise, 16, who had already played in the thirds grand final.
‘‘I knew he was ready and we just held him back a little, but I thought his impact was sensational,’’ Varcoe said.
‘‘He was able to come on and not only kick a few goals, but also set up a few as well, it is definitely a day he will remember.’’
The Bulldogs were 35 points down at three-quarter-time and despite kicking four goals to one in the final term, Varcoe was confident his side would secure the victory.
‘‘Credit to them, they kept on coming and made us work right until the end,’’ Varcoe said.
‘‘They could have just bowed out and let us run all over them, but they didn’t and that is a credit to the club.’’
The Bulldogs have lost five of their past six grand finals and co-coach Michael Laidlaw was confident his side would bounce back stronger next year.
‘‘It is a tough feeling that is becoming all too common for our liking, we fought hard, but were not good enough on the day,’’ Laidlaw said.
‘‘It is a tough pill to swallow, but we will come again next year and hopefully go that one step further.’’