COACH: Danny Brewster (first year)
LAST YEAR: Fifth
Nathan Brewster, Nick Page, Dylan Gordon, Leigh O’Sullivan, Tyler Oliver, Ben Poole, Dale Williamson
Dylan Adams, Alex Gleeson, Kirk Lang, Cam Milward, David Price, Luke Ryan, Robert Ryan, Ben Smith, Jesse Smith, Corey Wanganeen.
Sportsbet flag odds: $19
Player points: 46
R1: v White Hills (h)
R2: v LBU (a)
R3: v Colbinabbin (h)
R4: v Leitchville-Gunbower (a)
PAST FIVE YEARS
With Elmore’s departure list is as long as the Flemington home straight, many footy fans have written the Bloods off as a finals contender in 2017.
New coach Danny Brewster has other ideas. Brewster and the Bloods recruited quality rather than quantity and they’re confident they can stay in the top half of the table.
Dylan Gordon plays for Casey Scorpions in the VFL, but has aligned himself with the Bloods for 2017 and the club is hopeful of having him play up to six games for the season.
Nathan Brewster, brother of coach Danny Brewster, is tall and athletic and looks set to play centre half-back for the Bloods.
Tyler Oliver, Ben Poole and Leigh O’Sullivan played junior footy with Elmore and returning to the club. Oliver and Poole, who have both played in the GVFL, will play off half-back or through the midfield.
Dale Williamson is an exciting small forward from the Casey Football League, while Nick Page will help bolster the Bloods’ defence.
The Bloods’ biggest strength remains Danny Brewster at full-forward. He kicked 85 goals last year, including four hauls of nine or more.
Q & A with Danny Brewster
Q: There’s a been a big turnover of players at the Bloods. Are you confident you have the class and depth to return to the finals?
We were a bit slow to start with after losing so many players, but we’ve recruited smarter this year.
We’ve looked locally in an attempt to get more of a local vibe around the club.
We’re going to be exciting to watch. We’ve adjusted the gameplan to the side we have and we feel as though things are coming together nicely.
We’ll be taking the game on and pushing positive footy. We have a young side, so there will be inconsistencies, but we will make sure those young players learn from it.
COACH: Kistine Rosaia
LAST YEAR: Ninth
Taylah Mangan; Carly Demeo (back from overseas); Ally Rosaia (into A-grade squad).
Assistant coach: Aimie Brown
B-grade: Melanie Oldfield
17-and-under and 15-and-under: Jessica and Hollie Hilderbrandt
Primary: Sheryn McCormick
LAST THREE YEARS
ELMORE hopes an investment in youth and homegrown talent sparks the improvement necessary to make a move up the league ladder.
The Bloods failed to win a game last season and have won only one match in the last two years.
But with a new coach at the helm in Kristine Rosaia and a new emphasis on local talent, the vibe around the netball courts at Elmore Recreation Reserve is as positive as it has been in a while.
Rosaia, who has coached the A-grade team before and led the A-reserve team to a grand final a few years back, has been encouraged by her young team's play in the recent Rochester Invitational Tournament against eventual winners Eaglehawk, Shepparton United, Benalla, Tatura and Seymour.
The Bloods also had a win on the weekend against Kyabram District league club Undera.
"We just want to see some improvement this year. We know we are probably not going to hit the top ranks," she said.
"But we've set our own goals and we'll keep working towards those. It will be one step at a time for us.”
Elmore will be without last year’s best and fairest Emmy Tibble.
The Bloods face a tough first-up assignment against last season's runners-up White Hills.
"We've already set some goals we want to work on in that match," Rosaia said.
"We did some work on some things on the court (on Saturday) in Undera and we were really happy in the heat.
"The girls we able to run the game out well."
Q&A with Kristine Rosaia
Q. What does the season have in store for Elmore?
We've made a commitment to strengthen our local players. We are really working hard to develop basic skills and fitness levels, which most clubs would be at this point in time. We want to really invest in our strong, key junior local players.
The aim is that we will build from within. We made a commitment as a coaching group to get on-board early this year and hopefully that will set us up. And we've retained the support of past coaches within the club, so they have remained and we have a lot of experience in that respect.