By Tricia Mifsud
AFTER a tough inaugural season in the Outer East Community Bank Football and Netball League for the footballers at Broadford, incoming senior coach Jayden Welch hopes his side will sing the club song in 2022.
Welch replaces Russell Humphrey who took the helm in the 2021 season but was unable to record a win as leader of the senior side.
Welch coached the reserves side in 2021 and assisted Humphrey with the seniors.
During the preseason, Welch has implemented new game structures, which he said the players had embraced.
“Coming in as senior coach this year, we have completely renewed all structures and our game plan, which the players have really taken to,” he said.
“In our practice match the boys really stuck to these structures and after a couple of quarters, things really started to come together.
“Going forward into the 2022 season we want to get our structures and game plan cemented in and be a much more even and competitive outfit, and hopefully get to sing the song for the first time in the Outer East.”
Club president Bonnie Cavanagh said Welch had proved a great role model for both returning and new players after an intensive recruiting period.
“The football has started hitting their straps, which is pleasing to see after some years of very average results. The players have taken to the new coach extremely well and are excited to implement everything they have learned in the preseason,” she said.
“It was looking a bit light on for us with players at one stage. We went quite aggressive in our call out for more players, which did thankfully see an increase to our list. However with such a long season and COVID still taking effect, we just have to prepare as best as we can and take it as it comes.”
Broadford’s netballers are looking to back up an impressive season last year, which saw all four grades finish in the top three of their respective ladders.
Eight players were in contention for league awards, with five of them bringing home a trophy.
A Grade coach Ash Chapman, who has committed for the 2022 season, was also named the league’s A grade coach of the year.
Netball coordinator Carina Mills said she believed the A Grade team would be just as strong this year, and the other teams were also in a position to take out top honours.
“We had a really great first season in the Outer East League last year, which was unfortunately cut short but we’re looking to build on that and really cement our placing in this league,” she said.
“Our A Grade I believe will be strong again this year, with a bit of a different line-up to what was seen last season.
“I think the team to watch will be our B Grade. We’ve got some real experience coming in and they had a really strong hit-out in our practice match, so I’m really excited to see them compete this season.”
Cavanagh said she hoped the Broadford and surrounding community came along to round one on Saturday to support the Kangaroos, who host Yea Tigers.
“I’m extremely proud of all our coaches, support staff, volunteers and players across both netball and football departments, including our passionate and dedicated committee, so am confident we will have a better year than last and continue to improve,” she said.
“A huge thank you must also go out to our sponsors who continue to support us no matter what. We would love to see everyone come support us in Round One on Saturday at Harley Hammond Reserve, where we take on local rivals Yea. It will be a very competitive day across all teams.”