Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2016-03-30 Contents PAGE 8 – The Courier SPORT Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Coach – Brendan Loechel
2015 record: 10-6 (Fourth)
2016 fixture opening month: Meadows (away), Gumeracha
(home), Kangarilla (home), Macclesfield (away).
Birdwood returned to finals action last season, losing to Macclesfield
in a nail biting elimination final.
Ex-local Brendan Loechel has come on board as A-grade coach after
a stint coaching Lobethal’s B-grade.
Birdwood significantly improved in 2015, however, injuries at the
business end of the season had an impact.
Birdwood’s younger players are another year matured, however, the
Roosters have lost some experience.
Departing include past playing coach Sean Bayzand, Andrew
Ladhams, Paul Jones (Eastern Park), Shane Cosenza and dual best
and fairest recipient Luke Snowden (Tanunda).
“What we focused on doing is getting past players back to the club,”
Past Senior Colts premiership players have returned, including
Braden Cunningham and James Forwood, Tea Tree Gully pair Aaron
Nason and Daniel Uglesic, and Golden Grove’s Hayden Wallis.
Other inclusions Hayden Wallis from Golden Grove, Daniel Uglesic
from Tea Tree Gully, past Lobethal big man Nicholas Schild, Ben
Pfeiffer from Onkaparinga Valley, whilst Tom Matters has returned
from a knee injury.
“We made finals last year, that is definitely the goal again, and the
B-grade made the grand final,” commented Loechel.
“We have had a great pre-season and numbers have been
consistently 30-40 since starting mid January.”
Birdwood had pre-season hit outs against Mannum and Walkerville.
It’s likely Jock McLeay will be named as skipper.
Young players to look out for in 2016 include teenagers Jed Russell
and Lachlan Gooden.
Coach – Rob Prime
2015 record: 15-3 (Second)
2016 fixture opening month: Macclesfield (home), Kersbrook
(away), Nairne-Bremer (home), Kangarilla (away).
Bridgewater/Callington had the experience of playing in last season’s
grand final and know what’s required to take the next step in 2016.
The Raiders younger players are another year matured, and bigger
bodied recruits should assist greatly.
Rob Prime returns as senior coach and the Raiders appear to have
strengthened their stocks with past junior Craig Evans returning
Evans will be involved with Norwood, however, is still like to play the
majority of the Division 2 campaign.
Players returning to the Raiders include Darren Mitchell and
Hahndorf premiership player Thomas Schlanders.
Ruckman Nathan Rowlands has recently joined the Raiders from
Victoria, Josh Chenda arrives from Port Noarlunga, and past Mt Lofty
junior Charlie Bernie has also gained a transfer in.
The Raiders Senior Colts made the grand final last season and a
handful of players will step up into senior ranks.
“When you look at the side we had last season, we were young and
we knew that,” assessed Prime.
“We lacked size and physicality in the grand final against Kersbrook.
“The players we have picked up have given us size and experience
which will be great.”
Bridgewater/Callington commenced pre-season late and the aim for
the opening month is to hone how they want to play with the new
personnel on board.
The Raiders opening month will be challenging, playing finalists
Macclesfield, Kersbrook and Nairne-Bremer.
“We are looking forward to the season,” outlined Prime.
Young players to follow include teenager Liam Healey, Adam
Houlahan and Jackson Hooper, who returns after a stint with Sturt.
Coach – Brendan Donnelly
2015 record:1-15 (Ninth)
2016 fixture opening month: Kangarilla (home), Birdwood (away),
Macclesfield (home), Kersbrook (away).
Gumeracha have turned over a new chapter heading into the 2016
Brendan Donnelly has come on board as A-grade coach and he
outlined there have been positive signs.
The northern Magpies have had good numbers on the training track
and the players are bonding well.
They recently had a weekend camp at Ardrossan and by all accounts
that went well.
“I am confident we will be a much improved side compared with last
year,” outlined Donnelly.
“We have had some really positive steps in locals returning and next
season we are looking to get more back.
“The most important thing is to earn the competition respect back.
“We want sides to know they have played against us and know it has
been played in good spirits.
“We started training in November and the skills have improved
significantly and now it’s about putting things in place on game day.”
Donnelly’s background include playing at North Adelaide, playing in
a premiership at Gepps Cross and a few other Amateur League clubs
and coached the Reserves at Eastern Park.
Coach – Shane Baldock
2015 record: 3-13 (Seventh)
2016 fixture opening month: Gumeracha (away), Nairne-Bremer
(home), Birdwood (away), Bridgewater (home).
The enthusiasm coming from Kangarilla has been impressive and
the southern Blues should significantly improve in 2016.
Shane Baldock comes on board as senior coach and the Yaroona-
based Blues have in excess of 30 inclusions according to clearances
Baldock’s aim is to instill confidence within the playing group, after a
challenging recent period.
“We can see improvements and positive signs in a few trials we have
had so far,” said Baldock.
Kangarilla have played Adelaide Lutheran and Aldinga in pre-season
Several players have returned to the club, including Daniel Nestor
and Jericho John.
Kangarilla pulled off a coup in the recruitment of former Goodwood
Saint Jesse Boundy – a past A-grade best and fairest runner up at the
Division 1 SAAFL club.
Chad Friend and Mitchell Young have headed to Baldock’s former
club in Kenilworth.
“Last year we were struggling to field a B-grade but this season we
should have the right amount of numbers,” Baldock noted.
“We needed to get as many players back as possible and back on
board from last year.”
Baldock’s playing background included playing over 100 games at
Blackwood and a season with Onkaparinga Valley.
Baldock most recently coached Kenilworth’s A-grade, assisting the
club moving from Division 6 to Division 4 with premierships.
“It is really similar with Kenilworth and Kangarilla in terms of when I
took over as coach down there,” outlined Baldock.
“If we can emulate that it would be nice.
“We have really good people who have worked really hard in the
junior side of things.
“We have got all our junior sides this season which is really good.
“I think last season we only had six Senior Colts, this season we can
field our own side without top up players ... that’s a good sign.
“The aim is to be more competitive, especially against the sides
Players to look out for in 2016 include young ruckman Jordan Noble,
who received a club award last season.
Coach – Brett James
2015 record: 16-4 (Premier)
2016 fixture opening month: Nairne-Bremer (away), Bridgewater
(home), Meadows (away), Gumeracha (home).
Kersbrook accounted for Bridgewater/Callington and Birdwood
respectively in last season’s A-grade and B-grade title deciders at
Impressively, the Brookers Junior Colts also won the flag and senior
coach Brett James is excited about the calibre of talent coming
through the ranks.
‘Beefy’s’ men know what’s required when the whips are cracking
later in the season.
It appears business as usual at Brooker Park, surviving unscathed in
pre-season trial matches against Greenacres and Elizabeth.
“We are happy with where we are at, its going to be a bit of jump to
taking on Nairne and Bridgewater/Callington in the first two weeks,”
Departing Kersbrook are premiership players Andy Vines, returning
to Onkaparinga Valley and Daniel Ebert, who is returning to Uraidla.
Inclusions are Aaron Mcalpine from Barossa District, Daimon Goode
(Trinity Old Scholars), Rhys Moyne (Adelaide University) and Michael
Kilsby (Torrens Valley).
Roger James has also transferred back to the Brookers and aims to
play when free from coaching commitments at Eudunda/Robertstown
in the North Eastern Football League.
“That will be good fun to have a kick together again,” commented
“We have a couple of young blokes who are ready to step up.
“People still call us an old side but there are a few more younger
blokes filtering through then most people think.
“As a senior coach I couldn’t ask for a better group of senior players
.. . they are serious about achieving.
“A few years ago we dropped off mentally but they have been up
“Footy is footy, you get yourself organised during the year and then
have a crack in finals.
“It will come down to the little things, getting to the sessions and
playing the games in the right style.
“We have such a senior group, I don’t really think about the leadership
positions, things won’t change.”
Coach – Matthew Harford
2015 record: 8-9 (Fifth)
2016 fixture opening month: Bridgewater (away), Meadows
(home), Gumeracha (away), Birdwood (home).
Macclesfield played in the finals for a consecutive campaign in 2015
under departing mentor Craig Lallard.
The Bloods eclipsed Birdwood in the elimination final, before losing
to Kersbrook in a wind-effected semifinal at Cambrai.
Macclesfield have had good numbers on the training track and had a
solid recent trial against Marion.
Incoming coach Matthew Harford was previously associated with
Macclesfield in 2007, co-coaching alongside Dave Murphy.
Harford has also been involved with Mt Barker as B-grade coach.
The next step for Macclesfield is not to fill up the numbers in finals,
but make an impact.
Players coming on board include Liam Quinn from Mt Barker, past
Fremantle Docker Justin Bollenhagen from Renmark and Hackham’s
Ben Flood, whilst Joshua Cock returns.
Notable outs for the Bloods include Michael Curtis and Lintern
Fairbrother, due to work commitments.
“The numbers are really good on the track which is great and the feel
is great,” outlined Harford.
“The depth had definitely improved, and with Senior Colts it’s going
to give it a whole new feel around the place.
“All in all it’s looking quite good.”
Coach – Evan Taylor
2015 record: 6-10 (Sixth)
2016 fixture opening month: Birdwood (home), Macclesfield
(away), Kersbrook (home), Nairne-Bremer (away).
Meadows missed the finals for a consecutive campaign in 2015 and
is driven to return to the big stage and make an impact.
The club have primarily recruited from the River Murray Football
League with past Jervois duo Brayden Gommers and Tom Sinclair,
former Imperials player Josh Ritter, and Dylan Molnar of Ramblers
joining the ranks.
The southern Bulldogs have also picked up Brett Schultz from
Marion and Luke Tranter of Brahma Lodge.
Opting away from Meadows are Simon Tyler, who has moved to the
Adelaide Plains League, while Brad Yeomans will line up for Loxton.
Former premiership player Evan Taylor has taken charge as senior
coach, with Chad Dawe taking on a new role as a playing assistant
“I think talent wise if we are talking raw talent, we stack up really
well,” assessed Taylor.
Taylor admitted what Meadows have lacked is that genuine A-grade
“We needed to sharpen our focus on the intellectual side and work
on our footy smarts,” he commented.
“I have never had an issue with the fitness or talent of the group, it’s
been about how we have applied four quarters every week.
“We have instilled accountability within the group giving them the
opportunity of how they can improve.”
Taylor believes the starting point is returning to finals football, but the
group is determined to not just make up the numbers.
“Once you are there you are shooting for the top spot,” he outlined.
“That’s what we have been aiming for since the pre-season started.
“I’m not going to make any exceptions for that, we are aiming to
finish on top as everyone is.
“We have put a fair bit of time into working out what this current
group needed to change to become better.
“The guys we have been able to recruit are bonuses but really the
core of Meadows has been the local lads who make up 80 percent
of the team.
“It’s been a pretty extensive education period from us to the guys.”
Young players who may come under notice this season include past
under-age premiership players and medallists Max Buckley and Mark
and Ben Thomas.
Coach – Tony Fielke
2015 record: 15-3 (Third)
2016 fixture opening month: Kersbrook (home), Kangarilla (away),
Bridgewater (away), Meadows (home).
Nairne-Bremer United confront Kersbrook in the opening round ... a
perfect hit out for the Rams who lost to the Brookers in last season’s
The Rams have recently added a trio of players from the Peake
Lions in Jason Dikkenberg, Gareth Diprose and Jeffrey Lines.
David Schumacher has linked up with the Rams after a stint at
Hornridge in the Far North, whilst Ryan McGahey’s move from
Onkaparinga Valley is now ratified.
Chris Ladhams will be a permanent fixture in attack for Nairne.
Todd Heynen and Luke Murphy have departed for the Horsham
District Football League, Daniel Klinkert has joined Murray Bridge
Ramblers and Jamahl Liddle has officially shifted to Greenacres.
Sharp shooter Wade Hancock’s availability may be limited after
winning a place in the Adelaide Crows SANFL squad.
Continued Sport 9
Courier football writer Ben Goldfinch casts his analysis of Hills Football League
Division 2 A-grade clubs for the 2016 season.
Brett ‘Beefy’ James will be chasing a fifth A-grade
premiership as playing coach of Kersbrook during the
2016 Hills Football League Division 2 season.
Matt Harford will be aiming to qualify Macclesfield
for a third successive finals campaign as he takes over
the A-grade coaching reins of the Hills Football League
Division 2 Bloods for the 2016 season which commences
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