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    2023 club best and fairest Kyle Cheney has committed to another season.

2024 WFNL COUNTDOWN: Eagles ready for take-off

By Abby Walter

Player development will be a key focus of the Warrack Eagles’ senior football team in season 2024.

With just one win in 2023 against Southern Mallee Giants by two points in round 17, the team finished at the bottom of the ladder.

The club’s first step to rebuilding in 2024 was to appoint Wimmera league premiership coach Matt Walder.

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Walder led Ararat to a grand-final victory last year and has a solid resume, having coached at the Eagles from 2001 to 2004, winning the 2002 premiership.

Walder said he was looking forward to watching his players develop and improve after finishing down the order last season.

“It will be good to see how the recruits and young players mould together, to see how they respond to the challenges of the season and how quickly we improve and climb the ladder,” he said.

Walder said while it was still early in the year, there were signs of the team’s strengths emerging.

“As far as strengths, it would be the inclusion of some experience in the young group,” he said.

“They were a young squad last year so hopefully the injection of some fellows, who have played some successful football and are now in their mid to late-20s, can add leadership and experience in the game for the young ones.

“We have some players coming out of Adelaide and some home-grown players who are returning and coming from Melbourne.

“So, there will be a bit of a mix of boys who were born and bred here and are now in their 20s and want to be back and part of it again, which will be good, plus some experienced Adelaide boys.”

Eagles’ 2023 best and fairest Kyle Cheney recommitted to the team for season 2024, while runner-up Matt Johns, most consistent Lachie Stewart and best under-21 player Dylan Watts are also ready for another go in the maroon-and-gold.

Walder said training was slowly escalating as the season approached and a bigger contingent of players was out on the track training, as the players were keen to get their boots on and get into it.

“The under-17s are fired up and training well and we have a few of those footballers who are training up in the senior squad,” he said.

“The players have been good, they have been working hard and have been captivated with what we are doing.

“We’ll have practice matches against Wycheproof and Lake Boga, so we’ll have a couple of games before round one.

“We’re still five weeks away from the first round, so there’s still a way to go before we get it right – we just have to get out there, do it and see how we look.”

Club president Paul Rowe said numbers were good on the oval and the netball court.

“We’re looking forward to the season,” he said.

“We’re filling all teams and we have good numbers in juniors and really good numbers in the netball.

“We’re hoping for a bit of success on the netball court and football oval this year.”

The Eagles will be the first to travel to one of the new grounds added to the Wimmera league when they come up against Southern Mallee Thunder at Jeparit in round one.



Seniors: Matt Walder

Reserves: Daniel Westerland and Greg McKenzie

Under-17s: Kyle George and Declan Powell

Under-14s: Nathan Dunne and Daniel Penny

Under-12s: Chris Roche and Beau Duthie

Under-9s: Daniel Keam and Ben Spicer


The entire March 20, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!