Luke Barmby is ready for a tough game against West

By Ella Watson

A Teacher by day Luke Barmby is a defender for Central District Football Club.
Barmby debuted for the club in 2009 after being recruited from Salisbury Football Club in the juniors.
In 2011 Barmby was a part of the Centrals SANFL Grand Final team.
Barmby also won a premiership with the club in the under 17’s.
Barmby 27, now one of the more mature players in the team is responsible for managing the backline when on the field. 
“These days it’s probably more responsibility on me to get the structures right, make sure the spare man is in the right spot, but we’ve played all year together so we are pretty good at that.”
Playing at half back Barmby’s job is to play an attacking role and remove the ball from Centrals defensive zone. 
“I used to take the most dangerous small forward, but Haydon does that now, so I usually play on a taller forward, I play more of an attacking role now.”
“Number One I have to defend first and keep on my man then attack, the other role is to set up the other players back there to make sure they are in the right spot and are focused.”
Centrals are on the road to the grand final after beating Port Adelaide by a nail biting five points last weekend.
The boys held a strong lead in the first three quarters, but failed to convert in the third quarter kicking seven points giving Port the opportunity to hit back hard in the final term.
A win this week against West and Centrals will play the Eagles in the Grand Final the following week.
The last time Barmby and Centrals went head to head with the Eagles for the flag was in 2011, Eagles won by three points.
This time Barmby is hoping for a very different outcome.
“I like to think I owe them one, the club owes them one definitely.”
“We’re playing West this week they have been a good side all year, so if we can get over the line anything can happen.”
To beat West this weekend is going to require an even tougher effort from the boys.
Barmby says the midfield pressure has been good over the last few weeks, but will need to be even stronger this weekend.
“Westies they move the ball well, they have a strong midfield.”
“We just need to win the contested footy and nullify them going forward.”

Some scoring opportunities were missed last weekend with seven behinds kicked in the third term, something Barmby says needs to be improved heading into this weekend’s clash. 
“Something to be improved from the weekend, our goal kicking, if we had kicked three or four of those goals the score might not have been so close at the end.”
Centrals strong start and their competitiveness on the ball meant they were able to hang on.
“They (Port) came to us and we were able to hang on, earlier in the year we were up by five goals and they were able to run over the top of us, so our ability to withstand their momentum and not let them score as quickly that’s a real positive coming out of the weekend.”
“I thought we were pretty solid, the first half was really good, the third quarter we let ourselves down by not capitalising on scoring shots, but I never felt like we were out of control, Port had their moments, but I felt like for most of the game we dominated.”
This time last year Centrals were sitting on the sideline watching after finishing seventh on the ladder.
For Barmby the start of this year felt very similar to the start of last year, but unlike last year Centrals have hung on and by beating South in the final round scrapped through to the finals.
“Last year we had to win the last game of the season to get into finals similar to this year, but another year with the game plan that we wanted to play has helped, our young blokes have improved they’ve come in and had an impact each game which has allowed us to get stronger as a team.”
Barmby is proud of the effort the team has put in especially in the second half of this season.
Barmby is also proud of his own achievements at the club and his willingness to hang in there even after sustaining serious injuries.
 “I’m most proud of just hanging around and the hard work, I’ve had a few injuries where I’ve missed a year of footy (not all in one chunk) so I’ve had my setbacks, but I’ve stuck around and played some good consistent footy.”
Another proud moment for Barmby was the 2011 grand final; even though Centrals lost Barmby was proud of his team’s effort that season.
“Playing in that grand final that we lost haunts me every day, but it’s still something to be proud of, not everyone gets the chance to play in one.” 
“We were the favourites to win that year, but played horribly on the day and to the Eagles credit they were good, they kept us quiet for three quarters we were better in the fourth and nearly snatched it.”
“There’s no worse feeling, but it’s what drives me to keep going.”
To take on Westies this weekend Centrals will need to play strong and go hard at the ball.
Centrals have had a dream run in the finals so far and Barmby believes if they can keep up their pressure they can take it to Westies this weekend.
“It’s come together at the right time of the year.”
Centrals take on West Adelaide in the Preliminary Final at Adelaide Oval at 2.40pm on Sunday, the winner progressing to the Grand Final.


Luke Barmby, Centrals #44, clearing the ball against South in Round 19
Barmby scooting around 2014 Magarey Medallist Zane Kirkwood on May 17 this year.
 A follow up from photo #1
 Barmby. 2014 Head shot. A Schoolteacher and role model
Head down clearance work in 2013
2014 at Unley v Sturt
Playing in SANFL Finals Series at AAMI Stadium
2014 v the Magpies at Alberton

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