We talk to Port Melbourne senior coach Gary Ayres about the team’s upcoming Peter Jackson VFL season.
* CLICK HERE for information on purchasing a 2018 membership for Port Melbourne and other VFL clubs.
2017 FINISH: Premier (15-6-1)
2017 BEST AND FAIREST: 1. Luke Tynan / 2. Eli Templeton / 3. Tom O’Sullivan
2017 TEAM OF THE YEAR: Dylan Conway, Jordan Lisle, Damian Mascitti, Tom O’Sullivan, Eli Templeton, Luke Tynan
2017 DRAFTEES: Brody Mihocek* (rookie pick no.22 to Collingwood)
2018 SEASON START: vs Richmond# (Saturday April 7) / vs Collingwood (Saturday April 14) / vs Sandringham (Sunday April 22)
#This game will be live video streamed via vfl.com.au on Saturday
* CLICK HERE to see the full 2018 VFL fixture.
“Toby Pinwill (205 VFL games for club from 2005-17, captain from 2015-17), Chris Cain (194 VFL games for club from 2006-17), Sam Dwyer (122 VFL games for club from 2005-12 and 2016-17) and Hugh Sandilands (125 VFL games for club from 2010-17) have been amazing players and leaders over a long period of time and they’ve made a huge impact on the group. Guys like Brody Mihocek, Brodie Murdoch and Scott Clarke also made enormous contributions in the short time they were here, so that’s about 800 total games of experience that has moved on.”
* CLICK HERE to see full VFL club squads for 2018.
Khan Haretuku: “Khan has had a really big pre-season and was one of the more emotional stories that came out of the Grand Final (missing with injury). He’d been so good for us in the preliminary final (three goals against Williamstown), but it was a tough decision when we sat down with the medical team and unfortunately he missed out. There’s no doubt he’s really keen this year.”
“There were always going to be big changes with those guys (above) moving on and I think it’s exciting. Jordan Lisle is our new captain following his performance to win two of the last three ‘Frosty’ Miller Medals (for the VFL’s leading goalkicker) and our vice-captain is Tom O’Sullivan, who gets rewarded for his performance last year and his communication and exuberance. They’re backed up in the leadership group by Shannen Lange, Eli Templeton, Luke Tynan and Lucas Cook.”
“From what we’ve seen thus far, (2017 club best-and-fairest) Luke Tynan has certainly picked up from where he left off last year; there’s a degree of confidence in the way he’s playing. Mitch Wooffindin has had a faultless pre-season, as has Eli Templeton. We’d also like to see someone like Shannen Lange up there. He was our best player in finals last year.”
Ash Krakauer and Hugh Johnson: “We’ve always felt we have some pretty good depth and now is the time to test it. Guys who played a lot of Development League footy last year will get genuine chances and Ash and Hugh have had wonderful pre-seasons. Those types of guys have to come in and improve the side, and potentially the course of the season could be in their hands depending on how much growth and improvement they show.”
WHAT TO EXPECT
“We certainly put a lot of work in over the pre-season of 2016-17 to get our players to understand what we know works for us, and we’re probably lucky in a way that we haven’t had a lot of new recruits come in, because it makes things somewhat easier from an education point of view. It’s just about refining for us, because we thought things worked pretty well last year.”
ASSISTANT COACHING PANEL
Team defence coach: Ryan James (retained from 2017)
Team offence coach: Robin Nahas (retained from 2017)
Rucks assistant coach: Peter ‘Crackers’ Keenan (retained from 2017)
Development head coach: Trent McMicking (retained from 2017)