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    Mitchell Whelan in action last year.

2020 HDFNL COUNTDOWN: Taylors Lake footballers chasing improvement


If having new players on the training track and being inventive and opportunistic are key elements for any football club attempting to improve its fortunes, then Taylors Lake appears on the right track.

The Lakers are ticking all the right boxes as they head towards the 2020 season and as a result are full of expectation and enthusiasm.

At the same time, joint coach Brandon Weatherson, this year sharing primary leadership responsibilities with offsider Taylor Milner, tempered his predictions for the season.

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“Internally I would like to push for finals, but to just win more games than we did last year and to show general improvement is an initial goal,” he said.

“Last year we only won two games, but we think we were a lot better than that and seriously challenged teams in some games.

“We have a young group so in recruiting we’ve tried to target more experienced players to limit mental lapses and try to be bigger because we are quite small. This year represents an opportunity to continue to grow.

“But things are going really well. We’ve signed eight to 10 new players into the senior team.” 

The appointment of the classy Milner headlines the Lakers list of recruits, with new assistant coach and former Beaufort premiership player Lee Marshall, who has family connections to the club, not far behind.

Young midfield recruit Billy Finnigan from Edenhope, returning Jason Kannar, key-position player Jesse Britton from SMW Rovers and Alex Hill, coming out of retirement, have all generated discussion at Dock Lake Reserve.

Efforts to bolster rucking stocks have led to Glenthompson-Dunkeld’s Will McArthur and Geoff Jolley, Avoca, joining the ranks.

Weatherson said Tom Hutchins had returned and was moving well on the training track and Oscar Crosgrove had shifted across from Horsham Saints.

“We’re hoping to generate some excitement this year,” he said.

The Lakers have gone outside the square to show they are willing to be creative in generating interest in the club by arranging former West Coast superstar Daniel Kerr to play in a one-off game.

Kerr will play for the Lakers in round one against Laharum and his appearance in red and white is likely to attract a big crowd and provide a unique experience for all involved in the game.

Weatherson played with Kerr at Dunkeld and is confident the move will have a healthy flow-on effect for the Lakers.

“We just needed to work around the dates for Daniel and were lucky enough he was available,” he said.

“He’s a good fellow and still really fit and I think he will generate what will be a big day for the club.

“Apart from generating plenty of interest he will make an impact in our senior side. It’s not every day you can say you ran out with the bloke who should have won a Brownlow Medal.”

Lakers president Tammy McDonald echoed Weatherson’s sentiments.

“It provides us with an opportunity to showcase our club. The overall exposure and also what he’s going to bring is hard to measure,” she said.

“As much as anything, being able to run out alongside and engage with a player of Daniel’s level is a personal-development opportunity for our young boys.”

Ms McDonald agreed the approaching season was shaping up well for her club.

“We’ve done a lot of hard work off the field and have the club running in a way that we want it to run,” he said.

“We have fantastic volunteers and new lights are being installed at Dock Lake Reserve so training will be better for everyone.

“Everything is starting to come together well.”

Taylors Lake is well into its pre-season training routine, training at Horsham’s Sawyer Park on Mondays and at Dock Lake Reserve on Wednesdays.

The club has a pre-season camp at Port Fairy on February 22, a practice match against Glenthompson-Dunkeld on March 1 and will take part in a triangular series at Cavendish on March 22. 

“Our numbers are good and we’re doing a fair bit right,” Weatherson said.



Seniors: Brandon Weatherson and Taylor Milner

Reserves: Marc Davey

Under-17s: Adam Hall

Under-14s: Ash Lawson and Reuben Macchia

The entire February 12, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!