Cats set for flag defence

LOCKINGTON-Bamawm United begins its tilt on Saturday at achieving a feat that hasn't been accomplished for more than 50 years in the Heathcote District Football League - win four flags in a row.

The Cats enter one of the most keenly-anticipated HDFL seasons as the three-time defending premiers and again, shaping as the side to beat this year.

While LBU coach Adrian Dohnt would be looking no further ahead than Saturday's round one game against Colbinabbin at home, should the Cats again reign supreme this year, they would become the first HDFL club since Heathcote North in the 1950s to win at least four premierships in a row.

The Cats will unfurl their 2013 premiership flag pre-game on Saturday, but then it's down to business for the HDFL powerhouse.

"It's going to be a good day for the club to unfurl the flag, but the main priority is to make sure we get the new season off to a good start," Dohnt said on Friday.

"Wins early in the season are really important so that later on you're not under pressure chasing wins, and it's obviously the first chance to get a gauge on where we're at.

"All we've got to go on so far is training and a couple of practice matches, but hopefully, the boys have done enough to get the four points on the board first-up."

Saturday's round one side includes 11 players who were part of the Cats' 58-point win over Huntly in last year's grand final.

Among the newcomers to the Cats is former Hawthorn and North Melbourne player Jonathan Hay, who has been named at centre half-back.

"We've got a few blokes who are out this week, so it gives the young guys and some new players at the club an opportunity, which generates a bit of excitement," Dohnt said.

"The group still has plenty to give."

Meanwhile, one of the most intriguing games of the opening round will be at Toolleen when Mount Pleasant meets Huntly.

The Blues shape as a big improver this season after new coach Derrick Filo's quality recruiting, and they get an early test against last year's runners-up.

"Our pre-season has been good, numbers have been great and I've been happy enough with our practice match form, so everything is looking OK at this stage," Filo said.

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