Published on March 20, 2019 12:00 pm

Josh Prudden

VFL SEASON PREVIEW: Footscray

New Footscray senior coach Daniel Giansiracusa gives his thoughts on the club’s upcoming Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL season.

2018 FINISH: 9th (8-10 record)

2018 BEST AND FAIREST: 1. Will Hayes / 2. Fletcher Roberts / 3. Angus Monfries

2018 TEAM OF THE YEAR SELECTIONS: Will Hayes, Angus Monfries

2018 AFL DRAFTEES: Will Hayes (Western Bulldogs)

OTHER CURRENT AFL DRAFTEES FROM CLUB:

  • Selected in 2016: Ben Long (St Kilda) 14 games, Mitch Hannan (Melbourne) 35
  • 2017: Billy Gowers* (Western Bulldogs) 20

AFL AFFILIATE: Western Bulldogs

2019 SEASON START: vs Sandringham @ VU Whitten Oval, Friday April 5 (CLICK HERE for full fixture)

 

CLICK HERE for information on purchasing a 2019 membership for Footscray and other VFL clubs.

 

KEY RECRUITS

Nathan Drummond (24yo in 2019, from Richmond AFL): “Nathan has been a bit unlucky with injury throughout his career, with a couple of ACLs and a hamstring tendon. He’s been able to get through a big block of training so far and there’s no question about his talent and athletic profile. If we can keep him on the park, he’s going to be a great acquisition. He’ll play either on a wing, at half back or half forward.”

Ryan Gardner (22yo in 2019, from Geelong AFL): “We aim to recruit players that are versatile given we’re aligned to an AFL club and Ryan is flexible enough to play as a forward or second ruck for us. We also have the option of playing him back because he’s had some experience there at the Cats.”

Dillon Viojo-Rainbow (23yo in 2019, from Port Melbourne): “I think Dillon will slot into a half back or wing position with us this year. He’s previously been on an AFL list (Carlton in 2015-16) and was keen to come to an AFL-aligned club after being a premiership player at Port Melbourne (in 2017).”

Anthony Scott (24yo in 2019, from Old Trinity): “Anthony finished second in the VAFA Premier Division best-and-fairest last year and he’s been extremely impressive with his work rate this pre-season. He’s had some experience with Richmond’s VFL team (29 games from 2015-17) and they’ve clearly taught him really well. He’ll probably play on a wing where he can get up and down the ground. I’m pretty excited about him.”

CLICK HERE to see key ins and outs at each VFL club for 2019.

 

New & familiar faces 🔒'd in for 2019.

Posted by Footscray Bulldogs on Wednesday, 16 January 2019

 

POTENTIAL BIG IMPROVERS

Josh Prudden (25yo in 2019, 47 VFL games): “Josh has great character and he’ll be our captain this year. With Josh’s injury history, it’s about managing his body as best we can. We’ve really ramped up our running program this pre-season and he hasn’t missed a beat. He’s getting through his training really well and his GPS numbers are outstanding.”

Liam Nash (24yo in 2019, 55 VFL games): “Liam is going really well with his training this pre-season too. He can play through the midfield and help those young AFL-listed midfielders coming through like (2018 draftees) Bailey Smith and Rhylee West. I’ll be expecting Liam and Josh to educate those young guys and support them from a physical point of view with their strong bodies.”

Brad Olsson (23yo in 2019, 14 VFL games): “Brad is a high half back and he’s been impressive on the track this pre-season as well. He’ll be part of our leadership group and he’s a different kind of leader to Josh and Liam because he’s very vocal. He’s relentless in his attack on the footy and his opponent, and he’ll help keep our young AFL-listed defenders calm in the back line.”

 

ELIGIBLE 23rd PLAYER TO WATCH

Sam Barnett (21yo in 2019, from St Kevin’s): “Sam will probably be the one who’ll get the first opportunity as a 23rd player. He’s had some experience on Collingwood’s VFL list (as a rookie in 2017) and he’s been super impressive so far with us; he’s really fit. He’ll play on a wing and as a high half forward.”

 

LEADERSHIP MATERIAL

Captain: Josh Prudden (see above)

Leadership group members:

  • Liam Nash (see above)
  • Brad Olsson (see above)
  • Josh Wallis (23yo in 2019, 30 VFL games)

 

TEAM STRENGTHS

“We want to move the ball quickly and play an exciting brand of footy but defend high up the ground and win the ball back as soon as possible if we turn the footy over. We also want to be strong around the contest. It’s nothing ground-breaking, but we think we’re putting good things in place to develop our AFL and VFL-listed players.”

 

ASSISTANT COACHING PANEL

Back line coach: Anthony Barry (retained from 2018, when a development coach)

Midfield line coach: Jordan Russell (retained from 2018, when back line coach)

Forward line coach: Paul Groves (retained from 2018)

Bench assistant coach: Stewart Edge (retained from 2018, when midfield line coach)

Game-day assistant coach: Rohan Smith (retained from 2018)

 

HEADLINE YOU WANT TO SEE

“‘Footscray never loses at Whitten Oval’. Given I’ve been involved in the club for a long period of time, I want to drive the theme of the history of the Whitten Oval and what’s gone before. When I was a young fella, I used to go and watch the Bulldogs play there. It’s not the mud-heap it used to be, but I think we can make it a bit of a fortress because of the windy conditions.”

 

CLICK HERE for 2019 season previews on other Hard Yakka / Totally Workwear VFL clubs.

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