BFNL season preview – Kangaroo Flat

TAKING CHARGE: New Kangaroo Flat co-coaches Shawn Filo and Corey Greer.
TAKING CHARGE: New Kangaroo Flat co-coaches Shawn Filo and Corey Greer.

KANGAROO FLAT FOOTBALL

COACHES: Corey Greer and Shawn Filo (both new)

LAST YEAR: Sixth

ARRIVALS

Charlie Bowyer, Liam Collins, Mitch Collins, Zac Berthun, Andrew Cussen, Mitchell Dahlenburg, Jonathan Lanyon, Clinton Angove.

DEPARTURES

Jayke Barrack, Ash Benbow, Shannon Broadbent, Tim Brooks, Tom Dargaville, Rhys Healey, Mitch Hough, Marty Kelly, Ryan McNish, Lance Oswald, Tom Pridgeon, Cameron Rinaldi, Jarryd Wiegard, Matt Wiegard.

THE BASICS

Sportsbet flag odds: $26

Player points: 43

FIRST MONTH

R1: v Golden Square (h)

R2: v Eaglehawk (a)

R3: v Gisborne (h)

R4: v Maryborough (a)

LAST FIVE YEARS

2016: Sixth (10-8)

2015: Eighth (6-12)

2014: Sixth (9-9)

2013: Ninth (2-14)

2012: Seventh (7-11)

KANGAROO Flat has experienced an exodus of players during the off-season, with 14 listed on the departures list.

Taking charge of what will be a Kangaroo Flat side that will bear little resemblance to the one that finished sixth and won 10 games last year – the Roos’ most since 2009 – will be new co-coaches in Corey Greer and Shawn Filo.

Among the outs are the Roos’ reigning best and fairest Marty Kelly and leading goalkicker of 2016 in Cameron RInaldi, plus the likes of Ash Benbow, Tim Brooks, Matt and Jarryd Wiegard, Mitch Hough and Ryan McNish, who have all played plenty of senior footy at Dower Park.

The club’s signings during the off-season have included onballer Jonathan Lanyon, who joins the Roos from VFL club North Ballarat Roosters, while former Bendigo Pioneers captain Liam Collins, Mitch Collins, Charlie Bowyer and Andrew Cussen are back at the club after a stint away.

“We may have had a lot of individual talent previously, but it didn’t quite click,” Greer said. 

“I think this year we’re going to be a better team. The boys have all put in a massive pre-season, which has been the best since I’ve been at the club.”

Q & A with Corey Greer

Q: In the wake of so many players having left the club, how do you see the Roos covering all the departures and shaping up this season?

I'm not going to write us off, but I'm not going to pump our tyres up either because I don't think we have the credibility to be able to do that given how many players we've lost.

I look at the year as similar to where Eaglehawk is. Their young talent may be a bit more advanced than where we're at, but if you get a group of 40 blokes who will back their coach and want to get the best out of themselves, which we do, then anything can happen.

The vibe around the club is a lot better than it has been in previous years.

KANGAROO FLAT NETBALL

Coach: Janelle Hobbs (sixth year)

Last year: Premiers

ARRIVALS

Ingrid Hopkins (Maryborough), Julia Clarke (Wodonga Raiders), Sarah Barry (Camperdown), Meg Ginnivan (Harcourt), Danielle Markwell (17-and-under), Ellie Lothian (Lancaster), Jess Thomson (Ballarat league), Bree Heiden.

DEPARTURES

Zoe Davies (Eaglehawk).

COACHING PANEL

A-reserve: Jayden Cowling

B-grade: Shellie Davies

B-reserve: Nina Cass

17-and-under: Chelsea Sartori

LAST THREE YEARS

2016: Premiers

2015: Fifth

2014: Premiers

KANGAROO Flat start the season in much the same way they ended 2016, hoisting a championship trophy.

The Roos were given the ideal pre-season preparation by participating in and winning the inaugural Netball Victoria League Club Challenge.

They took and beat nine other country league/association premiers from last season for the honour, including some formidable opponents in Drouin Hawks, Diamond Creek and Kyabram.

That win, coupled with the solitary player loss of Zoe Davies (to Eaglehawk), suggests dual premiership coach Janelle Hobbs' team will again be hard too stop.

The Roos have recruited brilliantly, adding former Maryborough coach Ingrid Hopkins, Julia Clarke (Wodonga Raiders), Sarah Barry (Camperdown/Hampden league) and former Kyabram District league best and fairest Elly Lothian to a mix that includes young stars and VNL talent Ruby Barkmeyer and Chelsea Sartori, and the experience of Karly Elvey and Alicia McGlashan.

Finding a spot for the newcomers will be a good headache for coach Hobbs to have after plenty of success across all grades in recent seasons.

The Roos open their season against last season's grand final opponent Golden Square.

"We enjoy the challenge, the Square are always a tough opponent," Hobbs said.

"They have a new look-team, but we think we've done all the hard work and we're ready."

Ruby Barkmeyer

Ruby Barkmeyer

Q & A with Janelle Hobbs

Q: Outside your club challenge win, what has the pre-season looked like for the Roos?

We played Moama last Thursday night, who are a handy team, without Ruby Barkmeyer, Ingrid Hopkins and Alicia McGlashan and drew the game. We are playing a practice match this Sunday and basically training really hard, doing a lot of work in the gym at The Human Mechanics. The girls are super-fit.

Q: How much improvement is there in the likes of Ruby and Chelsea Sartori?

Ruby is going to continue to improve which hopefully will cause the opposition some headaches. She's been training down in Melbourne with her VNL team and at Geelong Grammar. We haven't seen a lot her yet, but I expect her to really build on the great year she had last year. Chelsea Sartori is flying right now, taking on VNL commitments.