LVFNL season preview: Calivil United

Calivil United's Evan Ritchie.
Calivil United's Evan Ritchie.

CALIVIL UNITED FOOTBALL

Coach: Anthony Dennis (2nd year)

Last year: Third. 

ARRIVALS

Samuel Brinsmead, Rohan Cadzow, Bryce Curnow, Adrian Devereaux, Lachlan McAlister, Levi Moss, Lachlan O’Neil, Vincent Rodi.

DEPARTURES

Mitch Farmer, Zac Alford, Phil Lobb.

THE BASICS

Sportsbet flag odds: $7.

Player points: 46

FIRST MONTH

R1 v Mitiamo (h)

R2 v Inglewood (a)

R3 v YCW (h)

R4 v bye

SUMMARY

The Demons were a good team in 2016. 11 wins and five losses in the home and away season and they made it to the preliminary final.

However, good teams don’t win premierships, great teams do. That’s the big question about the Demons heading into 2017.

Do they have the class and firepower to go from a good team to a great team?

The addition of former Strathfieldsaye co-coach Bryce Curnow is a great start.

Curnow has the class to be one of the most dominant key position players in the competition.

Curnow spent more time in defence when at the Storm and with North Ballarat in the VFL, but you’d expect him to play centre half-forward for the Demons.

The Demons remaining additions are largely unknown to central Victorian footy fans, but Sam Brinsmead and Vincent Rodi have senior footy experience in the Sunraysia Football League.

Rodi, a classy midfielder/forward, won the SFL under-18 league best and fairest award in 2015.

The Demons will also be bolstered by the return to playing action of coach Anthony Dennis and full-forward Braydan Knox.

Dennis returns from a serious knee injury suffered early last year, while Knox only played a couple of games last year.

In 2016, the Demons played top two teams Bridgewater and Mitiamo six times for the season and lost all six games by an average margin of 30 points.

They’ve got some ground to make up, but there’s an air of confidence out Calivil way that the Demons can take an extra step or two in 2017.

Anthony Dennis

Anthony Dennis

Q and A with Anthony Dennis

Q: In 2016, the Demons played top two teams Bridgewater and Mitiamo six times for the season and lost all six games by an average margin of 30 points. How have you gone about closing the gap between Calivil United and the top two teams?

We wanted to make sure we were more even across the ground this year.

We needed more depth and have more competition for spots.

We’re pretty happy with the way we’ve recruited. Bryce Curnow can play in the backline or the forward line and he as the running capacity to play in the midfield.

The boys we’ve recruited from Sunraysia are quick and it’s pretty good footy up there.

We’re hoping we get a change of luck with injuries as well.

We didn’t think the gap between us and Bridgewater and Mitiamo was as far as everyone thought and I think the gap between first and fifth this year will be much closer.

CALIVIL UNITED NETBALL

Coach: Teigan Redwood (2nd year, 1st year on own)

Last year: Third.

ARRIVALS

Kellie Brunker (South Australia); Tia Steen and Katie Magee (both returning from injury).

DEPARTURES

Brianna Lawry (Eaglehawk); Lara Metleman (Dunolly); Georgia Wills (retired); Cassie-Anne Penno (doubtful).

LAST THREE YEARS

2016: Third.

2015: Runners-up.

2014: Runners-up

Calivil United's Hollie Alford.

Calivil United's Hollie Alford.

SUMMARY

CALIVIL United has its eyes on another top three finish in 2017, with plenty of class players getting ready to don the red and blue again.

The Demons were a clear third best team last season and one of only two sides, alongside premiers Newbridge, to be able to beat eventual runners-up Mitiamo.

They also came within one goal of upsetting the Maroons in a 43-42 loss early in the season.

Those results suggest coach Teigan Redwood has plenty of talent at her disposal to work with.

The former Victorian Netball League star is flying solo as coach this year after sharing the duties with Karen Pascoe last season.

Her performance on-court was unaffected by the added responsibility, with Redwood finishing equal fifth in the league best and fairest voting with 17.

But the Demons look likely to be missing at least two of their next highest votegetters in Georgia Wiills (retired) and Lara Metleman, who has departed for Dunolly.

The Demons have not slipped below third spot in the last three years and should again be around that mark this season.