FRANKSTON YCW made it five Peninsula League premierships in six years last Sunday.
The big question coming from the mouths of spectators and opposition clubs as they were walking out of Kars St Oval was “how do we compete”?
It’s a very good question.
Mt Eliza may have finished as minor premier but Frankston YCW was clearly the best side in the competition in 2015.
Going into the finals, we were all hopeful of a challenge but deep down, we all knew the final result would be 10-goals plus. It was 87 points.
Clubs now get to work over the coming months to build a plan to challenge the Stonecats.
YCW will lose some players to opposition clubs, however they have strong reserves and Under 19’s chomping at the bit for an opportunity. The champs will also look to bolster their stocks with some recruits.
The Stonecats have pockets and flankers that would walk into most team’s midfields. They have key position players standing on a wing.
Fact of the matter is that YCW will not slide – they’ll be the benchmark again.
Personally, I think all clubs are playing for second again at this early stage.
Here’s what the other clubs will be looking for to try and bridge the gap.
Mornington: The Doggies need another key forward to support Jackson Calder.
Dale Whelan is a genuine leading forward but the Dogs need another weapon inside the attacking arc. Defensively they structure up well with Miller, Nolan, Symes and Haddock. A couple of 6.2’ runners would be handy.
Mt Eliza: The Redlegs have reappointed coach of the year John Georgiou and now they need to lock in their existing stock.
Justin Van Unen is a key, as are the likes of Lobardozzi, Gill, Booth, D’Orazio and Landry.
The Redlegs need to add a genuine ruckman.
They also need to get Scott Lockwood up and going again. Another key defender and forward would be icing on the cake. The Redlegs season came to a halt when Lockwood went down with a knee.
Edi-Asp: The Eagles need some players with some body size. The team is gifted in terms of talent but light on. Good on the spread but pushed off the footy in close.
Can’t afford to lose the likes of Kremmer, Garth, Tagg, O’Hanlon, Clark, Meehan and Mullins. Need another big key defender, ruckman and a couple of mids to allow Mavric and Tim Mannix to play on flanks.
Pines: As much as we’d like to see Guy Hendry play at a higher level, Pines can’t afford to lose him. They have arguably four of the best 10 players in the comp in Beau and Guy Hendry, Aaron Edwards and Luke Potts.
The Pythons are brilliantly coached by Pat Swayne. Depth is the issue and they just need to add some B-graders to bolster the list. A full back would be handy too and another genuine gun midfielder.
Brad Kiely from Langwarrin/Dolphins signed with the Pythons on Wednesday.
Langwarrin: Most important thing is to appoint a coach.
Clubs are circling Langwarrin and if they don’t lock someone in soon, they could be in strife.
The club needs to build around the likes of Gerard Brown, Matt Naughton and Nick Hammill. The club needs to be given some life.
Bonbeach: The Sharks lost a heap of players in the 2014-15 off-season, however, still managed to compete very well. They need some height and some class. There is a lot of grunt in the team but some genuine star factor is required.
Seaford: Seaford has to be congratulated. They cast the net far and wide for a coach and spoke to anyone and everyone. They have landed with three time grand final coach at East Brighton Ben Murphy. There is nothing but positiveness in-store for the Tigers. A few recruits, which Ben is sure to bring, along with Rourke Fischer, and they are back in the mix for a finals berth again.
Chelsea: The Gulls are yet to reappoint Brent Guerra at this stage. One wonders whether the investment in an AFL premiership player could be better spent on building on the list with a handful of recruits. Todd Gardiner is a star but he needs support. Rosebud premiership pair Rob Forrest and Jason Bristow have been linked with the Gulls.
Karingal: The most exciting club of the pre-season so far. The Bulls have landed Sorrento premiership players and 2015 Team of the Year stars Leigh Poholke and Tyrren Head.
Former star Bulls Duncan Proud, Cal Dixon and Chris ‘Cocky’ Hay are also being linked.
Head has a shoulder and this will be a concern.
On Wednesday night the Bulls signed Seaford youngsters Mark Czarnecki and Rhys Chadwick, along with Matt Tarr. Anthony Joel has also returned from Rye.