SENIOR SEASON PREVIEW
Eden Whalers FC
2017 Ladder Position: 6th
Coach: Liam Wilkinson
Ins: Jarrod Moore, River Reid, Aiden Halliday, Timothy Wong, Chino Weerakkody (Bermagui FC), Scott Munday (Cootamundra FC), Bill White (Morwell FC, Vic), Tom Stevens (Mitiamo FC, Vic).
Outs: Josh Abbott (Camden Cats)
Preview: It was a tough season for the Whalers in 2017 losing key players Peter Russell and Liam Wilkinson early in the season to injury and then going winless for the remainder of the season. Scott Munday will be a big pick up for the Whalers this season with the former Whaler returning from Cootamundra in 2018 too sure up the half back line. The acquisition of Bermagui players as well as Bill White, Tom Stevens and Dylan Wallace playing regularly in 2018 will bolster Eden’s squad. 2018 looks to be another year where the Whalers young brigades in Nathan Sebire, Jordan Merkel and Luke Grewer look to impact games on a regular basis. Look for the Whalers to challenge for a top four place in 2018.
Key Players: Jordan Merkel, Nathan Sheldon, Lachlan Rooney and River Reid.
2018 Prediction: 5th
Merimbula Diggers FC
2017 Ladder Position: 5th
Coach: Shane Parker
Ins: Nick Forester (Tathra FC), Jamie Hambling (Orbost Snowy Rovers FC, Vic), Patrick Whittard (Griffith FC).
Outs: Harrison Peters (Pambula FC), Chris Walth (Yass FC), Nicholas Redwin (ADFA), Mitchel Sieger (Wollongong Lions FC), Billy Stubbs (Tathra FC).
Preview: Season 2017 was a tough season for the Merimbula Diggers with several outs and injuries for the club which saw the Diggers miss out on finals football. The Diggers will be looking to bounce back in season 2018 although will again be hampered by a couple of key outs. Billy Stubbs appears to be the biggest out for the club heading north to Tathra whilst the club will also miss Harrison Peters from their impressive ruck stocks and Mitch Seiger who is in Wollongong for university.
Helping to fill Sieger’s place will be Nick Forester from Tathra whilst the club has picked up Jamie Hambling from the East Gippsland FL where he was a regular for the Orbost Snowy Rovers FC. Will Regan had a superb 2017 season and will again look to combine with Jack Burch and Daniel Worden in the midfield to get the Diggers back into finals action in 2018.
Key Players: Jack Burch, Daniel Worden, Will Regan and Dylan Jordan.
2018 Prediction: 4th
Narooma Lions FC
2017 Ladder Position: Runners/Up
Coach: Jason Sauiluma
Ins: Mitchell Davies (Pearcedale FC, Vic), Jack Watts (Coleambally FC)
Outs: Luke Wiggins (Newcastle City), Nicholas Carter (Pennant Hills FC)
Preview: The Lions will be looking to overturn last year’s grand final loss to Pambula in 2018. Narooma took big strides in 2017 finishing as minor premiers and have gotten 2018 off to a good start playing in the final of the lightning premiership in Eden. There hasn’t been a whole lot of change to the Narooma squad with youngsters Luke Wiggins and Nicholas Carter heading off to university. This will open a regular opportunity for the likes of William Hodge and Tyson Mikolic to gain senior football in 2018.
The Lions key pieces remain with the team where Jason Sauiluma, Jordan Lang, Tom Clarke and Luke Talty to remain as vital players as the Lions look to break their premiership drought. Simon Mackie is coming off 95 goals in season 2017 and will again be looking to dominate up forward for the Lions.
Narooma could have the services of young gun Jai Reed throughout the season with Reed coming back from a major knee injury in 2017 whilst Jeremy Sly will look to continue his rapid ascent within the competition.
Key Players: Jason Sauiluma, Simon Mackie, Jordan Lang & Jeremy Sly.
2018 Prediction: Premiers
Pambula Panthers FC
2017 Ladder Position: Premiers
Coach: Paul Noack
Ins: Harrison Peters (Merimbula FC), Mitchell Wallis (Melville, WA), Jordan Humphreys (Wy Yung FC, Vic)
Outs: Tyson Nunn (Balranald FC, Vic), Aaron Proctor (Ganmain Grong Grong Matong FC), Hamish Wenczel.
Preview: The Panthers will be looking at new combinations in the middle in 2018 with midfielders Aaron Proctor and Tyson Nunn moving on from the club after having a big impact in 2017. Proctor will be sorely missed by the club after claiming the best on ground honours in last season’s premiership side. The Panthers will be looking to rotate Charlie Shepherd, Jordan Pilgrim among other through the middle whilst Pilgrim will have less ruck responsibilities in 2018 due to the arrival of big man Harrison Peters.
The Panthers also welcome back local junior Mitchell Wallis who will be a big addition to the side and should also see plenty of time in the middle. Although there have been some changes in Pambula there will be plenty of familiar faces with the likes of Dylan Cook, Jake Taylor, James Wheeler and Steven Butterworth looking to see if they can claim back to back premierships in 2018.
Look for the Panthers to also give opportunities to their promising juniors with the likes of Flynn Cook, Jordan Chapple-Stroud and Kynan Baker to see time with the seniors.
Key Players: Jake Taylor, Stephen Butterworth, Jordan Pilgrim and Charlie Shepherd.
2018 Prediction: 2nd
Tathra Sea Eagles FC
2017 Ladder Position: 3rd
Coach: Kevin May
Ins: Billy Stubbs (Merimbula FC), Marcus Shaw, Nick Lazzaro (Bermagui FC)
Outs: Adam Gartside (West Brunswick, Vic), Jordan Rettke (Wollongong Bulldogs), Nick Forester (Merimbula FC)
Preview: There hasn’t been much movement at Lawrence Park in season 2018. The clubs outs in Jordan Rettke and Nick Forester will be replaced with Billy Stubbs and Nick Lazzaro whilst Marcus Shaw will further bolster the clubs forward line which already includes Louis Coulton, Dean Gartside and Troy O’Loghlin. The Sea Eagles finished the 2017 in a disappointing manner against Pambula and the club will be looking to put that behind them as they look to challenge last year’s finalists in Pambula and Narooma in 2018.
Youngsters Danyon Pilbeam and Shane Gartside had impressive seasons for the Sea Eagles in 2017 and will be looking to further improve in 2018 to complement the likes of Thomas Lipsham, Chris Dwyer and Richard Spink.
Look for the Sea Eagles to challenge for premiership glory in 2018.
Key Players: Chris Dwyer, Dean Gartside, Thomas Lipsham and Troy O’Loghlin.
2018 Prediction: 3rd