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LSWFL: Deanmill league coach Anthony East talks 2023 season

Melissa PedeltyManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Deanmill league coach Anthony East.
Camera IconDeanmill league coach Anthony East. Credit: Supplied

Focus, enthusiasm, hard work and a quality local team.

These will feature as key ingredients in the Deanmill Football Club’s 2023 season campaign.

After a bittersweet end to a stellar 2022 season — where the side lost just two games but was pipped at the post in the grand final by their Boyup Brook rivals — they have fire in their bellies to take home the flag in 2023.

The Manjimup-Bridgetown Times spoke with DFC coach Anthony East about the upcoming season. He said they were ready to come back stronger than ever, with preseason just around the corner.

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East — who has been involved in coaching in various capacities over the past 16 years — believes the club’s strong local contingent of players would be “key” to their success.

While disappointed five-goal grand final loss, he said they were looking forward, not back, and working hard.

“Look, it’s very disappointing to lose, but we’ve got to not dwell on that,” East said.

“We’ve got to rebuild on that this year and try to get that other 5-10 per cent better, change some things up.

“We’ve already had discussions on what we’re going to do and how we’re going to go about it.

“At the start of the year last year when we first started, we had a plan in place with what we wanted to do. If you turned around and said to us we’ll go through the whole season with only losing two games, I would have taken that any day of the week.”

Deanmill's Kester Decke fights hard to make his way out of the pack during the 2022 grand final game.
Camera IconDeanmill's Kester Decke fights hard to make his way out of the pack during the 2022 grand final game. Credit: Melissa Pedelty/Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

East said DFC put a big emphasis on local players and supporting the juniors up through the ranks, which has contributed heavily to the club’s success over the years.

“The way we do it is a lot different than anyone else,” he said, “Our contingent of players is 99 per cent local players.”

“Our key strength is having local guys here so we can have good numbers at training each week.

“If you’ve got local guys here playing and good numbers at training on both nights, you can work on some strategies and plans and how to play the game.”

East said the side has undergone a few changes but he intends to carry similar processes from the 2022 season into the next.

“Generally, we’ll have mainly most of the same squad,” he said.

“There will be a couple going but a couple coming back as well, so it’ll be pretty similar to last year.

“We’ve got a very good mix of experienced players and a lot of young players.”

East said the team’s major hurdle would be setting themselves up correctly in preseason.

“Our preseason will be pretty similar to last year,” he said.

Both teams fought hard to secure the upper hand during the 2022 grand final.
Camera IconBoth teams fought hard to secure the upper hand during the 2022 grand final. Credit: Melissa Pedelty/Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

“It’s mainly about team bonding, getting people involved and getting their fitness to the same level so we’re ready to go at the start of the open.

“Our idea is to get enough numbers at preseason so we can do decent long oval drills and just keep the enthusiasm up.”

While they will be striving to get a win over Boyup Brook, he is also cautious of the other one-town teams, including Bridgetown, Pemberton and Kojonup.

“A football team pulling just out of one town is always going to be very strong compared to Deanmill, Imperials and Tigers,” he said.

“We’ve got three clubs pulling out of a population of 4000 people.

“We’ve just got to keep focused.

“They don’t come easy premierships, you’ve got to work really hard at them.”

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