By Nick Creely
Keysborough are determined to be hard to play against, and have a hunger that they believe can help get them back into the premiership window.
The Burras; who finished second on the Division 2 ladder in 2017; fell flat in its preliminary final against Murrumbeena, and are a side on a mission as the 2018 season draws closer with each day.
“We learnt a fair few lessons out of last year’s finals series, and we went away from probably what made us a successful side throughout the year; I think the focus (this year) is playing a brand of footy that hopefully sustains through a finals series, but we’ve got to earn that right,” Burras coach Matt Ferguson said.
“It’s more of a motivator (the loss), rather than a downer for us; we’re very hungry and in this competition, you have to be up every week; we won’t have September on our mind until we get to a stage where we qualify.”
The Burras list is shaping up to be one of the strongest in the competition, with some high quality recruits in James Anwyl, Aaron Mcllroy, Matthew Carnelley, Damian Collins and Bailey Wardle the perfect complement to the likes of champions Ryan Goodes, Chris Bryan and Michael Downie, as well as the awaited return of forward Dylan Carlsson.
“Anwyl has fitted in like he’s been around for a decade, he’s an amazing defender, and a good leader which is fantastic; Mcllroy has been super impressive, Damian Collins from Narre will be one of our starting midfielders, and we’ve had a couple of Under-19’s that are looking ready for senior footy,” Ferguson said.
“And we’ve got Michael Downie back from injury, and he’s our captain, and Dylan Carlsson, who is back after having brain surgery, so they’re two quality players to inject back in our side.”
Players are flocking to Keysborough Reserve this pre-season as the Burras embark on launching an exciting Under 19’s, and Ferguson said that the majority are bottom aged, but “extremely exciting”.
As for the seniors and reserves training group, Ferguson said that the numbers at training have increased, a good problem to have so close to the season.
“We’ve put together a senior training squad, and that is about 35 players, so we’re really well placed; we have plenty of players ready to play seniors, and it helps the depth of the club,” he said.
“There will be some new guys in there, but a lot of the guys last year played a lot of footy together, so there will be some headaches in the coaches’ room every week, that’s for sure.”
The Burras kick off their 2018 campaign with a big clash against Mount Waverley at Keysborough Reserve.