Who can challenge Stonecats?



Picture: Andrew Hurst

Picture: Andrew Hurst

IT was six premierships in seven years for Frankston YCW last Sunday.

What an unbelievable achievement from a lot of dedicated off-field people and a committed on-field group.

Question now is, will this continue?

A competition-wide salary cap of $150,000 per year is expected to effect the Stonecats.

How do they keep the list together?

Do the players take a significant pay cut to stay together?

Or, as some would have you believe, after so many flags, now is the time to explore other opportunities.

With absolute respect to Frankston YCW (they absolutely deserve to have achieved the success they have!), this would be the best thing for the Peninsula competition.

There is daylight between the Stonecats and the rest of the competition and players leaving is the only way to even things up.

The Player Points System doesn’t allow clubs to go out and recruit to catch-up.

So, as we approach the mad ‘off-season’ period, what can you expect from your club as they prepare for 2017.

Frankston YCW: The Stonecats need to appoint a coach and appoint one quickly. Opposition clubs are circling the Stonecats and a new coach needs to reel them in quickly. YCW historically have appointed within, however, now might be the time to look outside, to bring some freshness to the list. The key for this club and the new coach is simply to hang onto the 2016 list and improve relationships with others pushing for selection. BJ Credlin needs to go on The Recruit in 2017!

Mt Eliza: Mt Eliza looked unbackable at half time in the grand final last weekend. By three-quarter time, you couldn’t get off them quick enough. As good as the Mounties were, there’s still a gap. They’ll all be better for the ‘learning’ year of 2016. There were 46 players who played senior footy this season for Mt Eliza. The reserves and Under 19s won their third straight flag. There’s absolutely no reason to think that they won’t be there on the final day again.

Pines: The first thing the Pythons needed to do was lock away Aaron Edwards – they did that last week. Tim Bongetti has committed. Pines just needs to add some depth to their line up and a few recruits in the off-season will assist with that. Pines is also keen on getting hold of 19 and 20 year-olds, like Brad Kiely, so they’ll be active in that space.

Bonbeach: The Sharks were considered a bit of a smoky coming into this year’s finals but let themselves down. They took a while to get going in 2016 (lost first four games) and really never played their best footy consistently. Consistency is the key, as is adding a couple of recruits to the list and keeping Shane McDonald.

Edithvale: The Eagles have already got back Brent Bowden and Matty Clark and are hopeful of getting back Brad Tagg, which would be a formality you would expect. There’s some exciting kids coming through who got a taste of it late and in a final. There are some powerbrokers looking after recruiting, so expect them to land a few.

Seaford: The Tigers improved rapidly under the guidance of Ben Murphy in 2016 and they’ll take another step again. The club is young and Murphy would have learnt a lot about his group and the competition. The Tigers have already picked up goal kicking midfielder Damien Rayson, who has played VFL. Expect more recruits to follow.

Mornington: The Doggies were the disappointment of 2016. A soft pre-season cost the Dogs at the beginning of the year and they came storming home late. Their top-end talent is as good as any and they have some great kids who were exposed to senior footy this year. With a strong pre-season, the Dogs will be the big mover.

Karingal: The Bulls have landed a new coach in former VFL assistant Andrew Sharp. The red and white are hopeful of some Dolphins’ recruits on the back of that appointment. Leigh Poholke has left, as has ruckman Grant Goodall. Grant leaves a big hole. Luke Van Ran Raay and Michael Burke will go around again. The kids will take another step. Recruits is the key for the Bulls, as is a clear and concise game style.

Langwarrin: The Kangaroos did a lot better in 2016 than anyone outside of the club expected. Some kids got an opportunity and rose to the challenge and there’s plenty to work with. The club is likely to continue on the ‘youth’ path. Ideally, they could do with a key forward and backman and a couple of midfielders with silky foot skills.

Chelsea: The Seagulls are stable, both on and off the field. It’s been a while since that has been the case. Brett Dunne and his coaches have all been reappointed, the majority of the list has resigned and the off-field group is united. The Gulls just need a big pre-season and a couple of recruits and they’ll be a whole lot more competitive for longer in 2017.

First published in the Mornington News – 27 September 2016


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