Finally, we’re back!

Friday, July 17, 2020 - 5:04 PM by Owen Davies

It’s hard to imagine when we closed out Season 2019 with a hard-fought win against Perth, it would be another 329 days before we would again take the field with premiership points on the line, but so is the climate in 2020.

On field what can we expect from our troops this year? That’s a tough one to gauge, obviously without our alignment with Fremantle for at least this season we become a bit of an enigma. The long break has done wonders for some of our Senior players, Blair Bell in particular who has now recovered from his Lis Franc injury sustained at the end of last year. We were buoyed at the beginning of the year with the return of 171 AFL Game star Hayden Ballantyne, Captain Ben Howlett and Jackson Merrett also know what it takes to play football at the highest level. We have welcomed the return of Premiership player Josh Bootsma and still have other experienced players such as Ben Hancock, Brayden Lawler and Corey Morris.

Turning from experience to talent; Michael Randall had a massive pre-season and shapes to be a key player this year. Ben Middleton (League Debutant) and Tyrone Thorne who were part of our strong Colts side last year and were in draft conversations, look poised to take this opportunity and show what they can do. There are a number of other younger guys James Sturrock, Ryan Bennell, James Ewing (League Debutant) and Lachie Cullen who have all shown either at Colts or in their brief League appearances that given time they will continue to improve. Enjoy the ride, keep the faith and you never know we might surprise a few this year.

It all starts today against Perth, a club we have had good success against in recent times. Taking the points at home in 5 of the last 6, defeated them twice in 2019 including the last gasp 3pt win in the final round of last season to deny them a first finals birth in 22 years. 

Hayden Ballantyne who will play his first game for the club outside of Fremantle affiliation since 2008 needs 1 goal to become just the 4th player in club history to notch 150 goals for the club.

One to watch - Look out for big number 16 - Ben Middleton, who kicked 5-goals in the Colts Grand Final last year, who is on his League Debut. Ben kicked 4 in his Reserves debut last year showing that he is capable at Senior Level, especially if he doesn’t get the oppositions best defender.