New faces, young players and solid game plans: Lower South West Football League coaches talk 2023 season
Another year of football is upon the Lower South West with the highly anticipated first round of the league season beginning this weekend.
Deanmill — minor premiers and grand final runners-up — will return this Saturday with some new faces to take on Kojonup, who finished fourth out of seven last year after a solid season of football, at 2pm at Deanmill.
Tigers will also appear in round one against Imperials at 2pm at Manjimup Recreation Group, hoping to prove their young team has what it takes this year to be a serious finals contender.
Boyup Brook, Southerners and Bridgetown will start the round with a bye.
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The Manjimup-Bridgetown Times spoke with several of the league coaches to find out how the teams are feeling in anticipation of their season openers and who has their sights set on grand final glory.
Deanmill league coach Anthony East said his team was keen and ready for the 2023 season, having had a good turnout for preseason.
“There have been a few team changes from last year, however, the team is looking good,” he said.
“If we can do one better than last year — win the grand final — that is always the goal.”
East said the goal was to bring players through from juniors to colts and then to league which had driven the success of the club in the past.
“We’ve got some good young kids from colts stepping into league this year,” he said.
“It’s exciting to get so many locals out there playing and striving towards the same goals.
“If we take care of the local guys, then the rest will take care of itself.”
Tigers league coach Aaron Watson said the team — which is made up of a young group this year — was excited about the year ahead.
“We’ve played a few scratch matches so far and aim to continue to get the players back into supporting the club this year,” he said.
“The main plan is to guide these guys through until they are older and keep their commitment to the sport.”
The Tigers had an unsuccessful season last year, finishing last on the ladder without a win to their name however, Watson is confident he can keep the team’s confidence up.
“If we can play our way then we can hopefully come out on top.”
Bridgetown league coach Ray Masters said while the team had a disappointing year last season after successful years prior to that, he was looking forward to the new season.
“We’ve had a few team changes and several of the changes have involved very different playing types so we are yet to see how that could influence our game, however, we’ll manage that as the season progresses,” he said.
“Every team’s ambition is to make finals but we’ll take it one game at a time.”
Boyup Brook league coach Mat Michael said the team was looking forward to another year of football and intended to approach the season as they did the last.
“We hope to get to another grand final,” he said.
The reigning premiers had a successful year last year, playing with grand final potential from early on in the 2022 season.
“We’ve got a different side this year, we’ve lost some and gained some, so we will see how this new side tackles the 2023 season,” Michael said.
Boyup Brook are set to host the Lower South West Football League grand final on September 9.
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