SENIOR SEASON PREVIEW
Bermagui Breakers FC
2016 Ladder Position: 5th
Coach: Rob Beuzeville and Marcus Shaw
In: Chris Hales (Bateman’s Bay FC), Liam Russell (Quenbeyan JFC), Marcus Shaw (North Warrnambool FNC, Vic), Daniel Smith (Narooma FC) and Scott Proctor (Pambula FC)
Out: Kobi Cook (Lucknow FC, Vic), Chance Donohue (Narooma FC) and Brandon Tyson (Craigieburn FC, Vic)
Review: Bermagui will come into the 2017 season full of confidence with the club recruiting well in the off season and will have a much more balanced squad in 2017. The acquisition of Daniel Smith and Marcus Shaw returning to their junior club will add more class to the line up and allow veteran Luke Moresi greater space and time to damage the opposition.
The Breakers also welcome back former juniors Jack Dobell, Jack Hannebery and Sebastian Hannebery after the year off to provide depth in key positions in defence, attack and in the ruck.
The biggest in for Bermagui has been Scott Proctor moving over from the Panthers. Proctor has had an interrupted pre-season due to work commitments although if Proctor can bring his 2016 form to the club, the Breakers will have plenty of ball winners in the middle and ability to drive forward.
Key Players: Marcus Shaw, Luke Moresi, Scott Proctor, Daniel Smith and Sebastian Hannebery.
2017 Prediction: 4th
Eden Whalers FC
2016 Ladder Position: 6th
Coach: Liam Wilkinson
In: Benjamin Kopecky-Mills (Pambula FC)
Out: Scott Munday (Cootamundra FC)
Review: Coach Liam Wilkinson will be happy with the clubs display at the annual lightning premiership with a win against Merimbula and taking it up to the Pambula Panthers in their second game. Wilkinson appears to be the key to the Whalers successes in 2017 with the player/coach looking fit and ready to dominate in the middle of the field for the youthful Whalers.
Scott Munday will be a big loss off half back for the Whalers having represented the Sapphire Coast Representative team in 2016 although they will look towards Benjamin Kopeck-Mills coming across from Pambula to fill a role for the club.
2017 looks to be another year where the Whalers young brigades in Nathan Sebire, Jordan Merkel and Luke Grewer among others look to gain senior experience and start to impact games on a regular basis. Look for the Whalers to get better and better in season 2017 and give a fierce contest to the other 5 sides week in and week out.
Key Players: Jordan Merkel, Liam Wilkinson, Nathan Sebire, Lachlan Rooney and Peter Russell.
2017 Prediction: 6th
Merimbula Diggers FC
2016 Ladder Position: Runner’s Up
Coach: Daniel Murphy
In: Harrison Peters (Quenbeyan FC), Cameron Farrell (Barellan United FNC), Jay Richmond (Pambula FC) and Scott Richmond (Pambula FC)
Out: Thomas Burch (Gibson FC, WA), Jason Ivone (Whorouly FC, Vic), Alex Dillon (Travel), Jonathan Nicholes (Panesville FC, Vic), Danny Adams (Victoria), Brayden MacDonald (Victoria), Luke Higgins (Dfence Force) and Justin Burch (Defence Force)
Review: It is shaping up as potentially a tough season for the Diggers in 2017 due to a number of outs off the back of their grand final appearances the past three seasons. The Diggers are losing key players in Thomas Burch and Justin Burch with the youngest Burch brother making great strides in 2016 making the Sapphire representative side. Another huge out for the club is senior player and 16’s coach Danny Adams who is heading back to Victoria. Adams has been an integral part of the club over his past two seasons being all class off the wing and half forward line.
Merimbula sees the return of Harrison Peters from Quenbeyan FC and will be able to provide support for Jack Burch in the ruck and swing forward to assist Dylan Jordan who has become the main target up forward for the club.
Although the Diggers boast one of the best one two punches in Burch and Daniel Worden, the club will look to give their younger players greater responsibility in 2017 with Will Regan, Billy Stubbs and Reece Moulden to get a greater role within the team.
Key Players: Jack Burch, Daniel Worden, Wade Edmed and Dylan Jordan.
2017 Prediction: 5th
Narooma Lions FC
2016 Ladder Position: 4th
Coach: Mick Clothier
In: Simon Mackie (Coleambally FC), Chanse Donohue (Bermagui FC), Jason Sauiluma (Tuggeranong FC) and Zakery Cowley-Hilton (Quenbeyan FC)
Out: Samuel Hodge (Northern Districts FC) and Daniel Smith (Bermagui FC)
Review: The Lions continued to get better and better in 2016 and their work over the off season resulted in the club claiming silverware in this year’s lightning premiership in a comfortable win over Tathra Sea Eagles.
The Club has been able to replace the outgoing Daniel Smith in midfield with the recruitment of Jason Sauiluma back to his junior club. Sauiluma will be hoping he can bring his 2010 season form back to the club where he was awarded the best and fairest for the league in a scintillating year of football. The club also welcomes Simon Mackie from Coleambally FC who will hold down a key position for the club up forward.
The clubs young brigade in Jeremy Sly, Zac Martin, Luke Wiggins, Nick Carter and Jamie Dufield will all continue to improve in 2017 and with the addition of another young gun in Zakery Cowley-Hilton the future looks bright for the Lions.
Key Players: Jason Sauiluma, Simon Mackie and Jordan Lang.
2017 Prediction: 3rd
Pambula Panthers FC
2016 Ladder Position: 3rd
Coach: Paul Noack
In: Tyson Nunn (Ainslie FC), Jesse Meaker (Tathra FC), Hamish Wenczel (Belconnen FC), Charlie Shepherd (Wodonga Saints FC, Vic), Rhys Willis (Bega FC), Justin Dickson (North Albury FC), Anthony Cincotta (Forest Hill FC, Vic) and Aaron Proctor (Wodonga FC, Vic)
Out: Tom Ferguson (Eastlake FC), Benjamin Kopecky-Mills (Eden FC), Justin Pilgrim (Heyfield FNC), Harrison Warne (University Hawks AFC, QLD), Jay Richmond (Merimbula FC), Scott Richmond (Merimbula FC) and Scott Proctor (Bermagui FC)
Review: Is Aaron Proctor back in Pambula colours for the 2017 season or just back for one or two games? If he is back for the whole 2017 season the 2014 best & fairest winner will be a huge addition for the club and could be the team to be beat going into the season. The club also sees a number of big name Pambula junior players return to the club in Tyson Nunn, Charlie Shepherd, Hamish Wenczel and Anthony Cincotta whilst also adding Tathra ruckman Jesse Meaker.
The Panthers will be disappointed with the way they finished the 2016 season in a lacklustre preliminary final loss to their rival Diggers. The Panthers will be eager to make a statement in 2017 with their returning players whilst the biggest out for the club is former coach Scott Proctor.
With Paul Noack leading the way in 2017 the club will be a disciplined outfit and will be eager to recapture their form from the 2014-15 seasons which the club went back to back.
Key Players: Dylan Cook, Jake Taylor, Stephen Butterworth, Jordan Pilgrim and Tyson Nunn.
2017 Prediction: Premiers
Tathra Sea Eagles FC
2016 Ladder Position: Premiers
Coach: Kevin May and Brad McBain
In: Dean Gartside (Gungahlin FC), Shane Gartside (Gungahlin FC), Brenton Mace (Gungahlin FC) and Jordan Rettke (Shellharbour FC)
Out: Kel Evans (Quenbeyan FC), Jack Hukins (Northern Districts FC), Cameron Burns (Shellharbour FC), Ryan Dakis (Monash Blues FC), Jesse Meaker (Pambula FC) and Ryan O’Loghlin (Beverley FC, WA not active in 2016)
Review: 2017 will most likely see the chasing pack make up ground on the reigning premiers. The club sees some important components of their 2016 success leave the club for new challenges and work commitments. The biggest loss for the Sea Eagles will be Kel Evans who has been threatening the past two seasons to take the mantle as the best player in the competition and he proved he has the goods with a best on ground performance in the grand final and representative fixture.
The club see’s the return of Shane and Dean Gartside to the club and they will be looking to pick up the slack left by Evans, Meaker and Dakis’ departure from the club. Wiliam Dickinson and Scott Hay are also questionable to take the field early in the season which could further hurt there charge.
The reigning premiers still have plenty of weapons in Adam Blacka who joined the 100 club in 2016, Louis Coulton, Troy O’Loghlin, Thomas Lipsham and Luke Taylor to make a run at the 2017 premiership.
Key Players: Joshua Wilkinson, Adam Blacka, Dean Gartside, Thomas Lipsham and Troy O’Loghlin.
2017 Prediction: Runner’s Up