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Prepared for anything

“It doesn’t really matter who you play, it’s a different ball game in finals with whoever you’re playing.”

Veteran Scott McMahon has hit a rich vein of form at VFL level in recent weeks, and he’s desperate to continue that heading into finals.

The 29-year-old is also juggling the possibility of an AFL call-up after his stellar recent form. He was arguably best on ground in Werribee’s win last week.

Either way, McMahon and many of his team-mates will be challenged by a short break between games.

“I haven’t changed too much this week to be honest, but the build-up is just more about recovery itself,” McMahon explained to NMFC.com.au.

“Main skills was a bit lighter than normal and you don’t get flogged on the track, and there’ll be extra massages, extra ice baths and those sorts of things.

“It’s probably a good thing that it’s Friday/Saturday (AFL/VFL) so I’ll prepare to play both. I’ll find out tomorrow (Thursday) and until then wait and see.”

The leader of the Werribee backline, McMahon has been given a slightly unusual nickname when playing at VFL level.

“A couple of the Werribee guys actually call me Dad,” he revealed.

“I’m not sure if that’s because I talk or because I’m old but it’s good fun down there.”

It’s that ability to communicate with his fellow defenders which makes McMahon a valuable commodity.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s this year or previous years, I’ve always been a bit of a talker out on the ground and try to instruct as much as I can,” he said.

“It’s been really good the last few weeks. I’m excited to play finals and hopefully we can go a fair way, starting with playing Collingwood on the weekend.”

The Tigers won four out of their last five matches to finish only one game away from a double chance.

With North entering into a single alignment with the VFL side from 2016 onwards, the increased synergy between the two in recent weeks may have played a part in McMahon’s improved form.

“We head to Werribee for their last training session so we’ll be out there on Thursday night,” he said.

“We won’t do too much obviously because we had our main session today (Wednesday), but we’ll do the warmup and have the match meeting at Werribee.

“We’ve been doing that for the last few weeks which has been good and worked well.”

The most recent match for Werribee was against Footscray and if results had gone a little differently, the sides could easily have met two weeks in a row.

It’s not dissimilar to the situation North finds itself in this Friday night. There is every possibility it could face Richmond again in an elimination final next week.

However McMahon’s wise voice of experience cautioned not to read too much into whatever eventuates at Etihad Stadium.

“It doesn’t really matter who you play, it’s a different ball game in finals with whoever you’re playing,” he added.

“You just have to prepare, see what they do well and maybe get some first-hand experience if you play them the week before.

“But because finals are so different you can take a little bit out of it, but not too much.”