BFNL season preview – Kyneton

KEY TARGET: Forward Mitch Scholard booted 74 goals for Kyneton last year.
KEY TARGET: Forward Mitch Scholard booted 74 goals for Kyneton last year.

KYNETON FOOTBALL

COACH: Luke Beattie (third year)

LAST YEAR: Fifth

ARRIVALS

Fintan Brazil, Nicholas Brazil, Michael Clancy, Kevin Clark, Billy Mahony, Harry Mulqueen, Jordan Mangan.

DEPARTURES

Jarrod Andreatta, Nick Higginson, Hugh Schiavello, Leigh Warne, Jarrod Witnish, Michael Rainey, Ryan Carafa.

THE BASICS

Sportsbet flag odds: $14

Player points: 45

FIRST MONTH

R1: v Gisborne (h)

R2: v Maryborough (a)

R3: v Castlemaine (h)

R4: v Sandhurst (a)

LAST FIVE YEARS

2016: Fifth (10-9)

2015: Fifth (8-11)

2014: Seventh (6-12)

2013: No team

2012: Ninth (2-16)

BACK-to-back elimination final losses are fueling the desire of Kyneton to take the next step and win on the QEO in September.

The Tigers have achieved their goal the past two years of making the finals, but both times they have bowed out to Eaglehawk in the elimination final.

This year marks 20 years since Kyneton last won a final – its 1997 grand final victory over Golden Square – with the challenge squarely ahead for the senior team to take the next step in what will be its fourth season back since its 2013 hiatus.

The number of arrivals and departures at the Showgrounds evens itself out at seven in and seven out.

The new players include Benalla brothers Fintan and Nicholas Brazil, while the Tigers have also added the BFNL’s 2014 Rising Star winner Billy Mahony, who has previously played at Maryborough.

Kevin Clark from the Zillmere Eagles will add some more run for the Tigers, who welcome back Michael Clancy from Darley and also have Harcourt’s Harry Mulqueen among their ins.

And fresh off winning a SEABL championship with the Bendigo Braves on the basketball court last year, Jordan Mangan will make his return to football.

Q & A with Luke Beattie

Q: What has been your focus during the pre-season in getting a list together that can allow Kyneton to take the next step and win in September?

We've certainly tried to speed the side up a bit.

If you look at the list of outs, you'll see a large portion of them were some of our taller and probably slower players and while that gave us an advantage at times, when we got to the QEO it didn't work in our favour.

The players we've brought in have a strong defensive game and a bit more speed in being able to get to the contested ball a bit quicker.

KYNETON NETBALL

Coach: Dianne Guest-Oakley

Last year: Seventh

ARRIVALS

To be confirmed

DEPARTURES

To be confirmed

COACHING PANEL

A-reserve: Dianne Guest-Oakley

LAST THREE YEARS

2016: Seventh

2015: Seventh

2014: Third

IT will be a season of "growth and rebuilding" for Kyneton on the netball court.

Details are scant on the recruiting and player fronts, with the Tigers believed to have endured an exodus of players.

The club is tipped to field just two teams this season (A-grade and B-grade) in what will be a tough start for new coach Dianne Guest-Oakley.

Guest-Oakley brings a wealth of experience to the role, most recently as an assistant coach with Monash University Storm's under-19 team in the Victorian Netball League.

She will need to be patient if player numbers are as thin as sources in Kyneton indicate.

An open letter from the club's executive suggests the Tigers are directing considerable "energy and attention" to its netball department in a bid to rebuild playing stocks.

The Tigers were a top-three team as little as three seasons ago and were on the cusp of the five last season, with a draw with eventual premiers Kangaroo Flat and a win over runners-up Golden Square among their best results.

A repeat of those types of results looks a long way off at this point.

Question marks remain over the availability of several Kyneton players.

Question marks remain over the availability of several Kyneton players.

LETTER FROM THE KFNC EXECUTIVE

2017 is going to be a year of growth and rebuilding within our netball department. 

Just as the football department started from scratch again just a few years ago, energy and attention must now be directed to our netball department, an important and essential sector within our club. 

We are committed to the ongoing development of netball within the club, appointing new coaches Dianne Guest-Oakley and Christyn Passalaqua, who bring a drive for success and strong passion for netball. 

It is an exciting time of change and we hope you will be part of this new journey with us