Vardanega "we weren't up to NEAFL standard"

Canberra utility Matt Vardanega says the Demons’ skill level in Saturday’s heavy loss to Redland “wasn’t up to NEAFL standard”.

Vardanega in action during Canberra's loss to Redland. Photo: TJ Yelds/NEAFL

Redland dominated the contest throughout the match, proving too good for a flat Canberra line-up to run away with a convincing 60-point win.

Canberra lacked the speed, direction and defensive structure that became a feature of the club’s breakout 2018 season and Vardanega was disappointed with the below par performance.

The 21-year-old said it is crucial to learn from the contest but to move forward quickly with just three days until the side’s Good Friday clash against Southport.

“The message from the Kade was obviously that of disappointment, we lacked intensity and effort and we failed to bring that brand of football that we as a club are known for."

“They pretty much beat us all over the ground, they beat us in the contested footy convincingly, they went above and beyond to get the win and I don't think we were up to the NEAFL standard."

“But it's a game we learn from, and now our attention is on bouncing back against Southport this Friday."

Vardanega is likely to play a utility role for Canberra this season. Photo: TJ Yelds/NEAFL

Vardanega fought tirelessly throughout the contest, gathering 15 disposals and 5 marks playing an unfamiliar role through the midfield and up forward.

Having spent most of his NEAFL career across defence, Vardanega said Saturday’s time in the forward line was a good indication of what lies ahead for him this year.

“I’ve been training in every position all pre-season, so I think I'll be used in that utility role this season."

"For me it's important to keep an open mind and take on each role as it comes, each week is different so I'm just sticking to what I can control."

Friday’s match against Southport looms as a vitally important game as Canberra look to bounce back quickly from the disappointing performance, while the Sharks will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the 2019 NEAFL season.

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