IT could be a big year for the Kalkee football side with coach Hamish Exell at the helm.
The Kees boast one of the most well rounded sides in the competition in 2017 and look to have improved their line-up with a couple of handy recruits.
The inclusion of Luke Byrne to the back-line could very well be the sides best recruit over the pre-season, a former teammate of Exell’s from the Dimboola Roos.
Exell’s goal is to finish in a finals position.
“From there anything can happen,” he said.
The retention of club men Steve Schultz and Paul Christian will do wonders for the junior players coming through the ranks even if they won’t be able to play out every game.
The two veterans will also prove to be a big help with moulding the new leaders of the football side.
Exell thinks every player in the side has great leadership qualities.
“The group as a whole has a lot of leaders within it and hopefully they come out of their shell,” he said.
The Kees won’t be changing their style too much this season, with minor adjustments, and has been training to move the ball as quickly as possible.
Exell said he would like improvement from everyone in the squad whether they are youth players joining the ranks or seasoned senior players.
“It’s all about developing consistency,” he said.
The side has plenty of youth talent to pick upon and Exell said this year will be all about helping those players put out consistent performances every week.
Several players will be taking on new and different roles in 2017 with Jace Monaghan expected to play both up forward and in the defensive line this year and Louise Papst will be looked at to play a lot more on ball.
Kees have lost three crucial players for the season in Tim Wade, Josh Mibus and Ben Harrison.
Harrison was a versatile player who was a strong on-field leader.
Five minutes with Hamish Exell
Who will you be looking towards to have a big year?
I think our leaders in Matt Nield, Jace Monaghan and Ben Lawson have been fantastic in their approach to training.
I expect all these boys to have a really consistent year.
Who do you expect will take a step up this season?
Hopefully everyone in the side can improve but I think Luke Byrne will be one to look out for.
Having played on some good forwards the last couple of years in the Wimmera league, I’m sure he'll enjoy the challenge of coming up against the best forwards in the district league each week.
What has you most excited about this season?
Our side has a lot of young developing players.
Helping and watching them improve their games individually and how that improves us as a team will be great to be involved with.