Epic new GSFL season awaits us

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

It seems like only yesterday that we watched that epic Great Southern Football League grand final decider at a packed Sounness Park as North Albany came from behind to secure their third straight premiership.

Just over six months later and with another GSFL season on our doorstep, the excitement is again building towards what promises to a closely contested premiership race.

The pre-season is done and dusted and the real stuff is about to begin with a cracking opening round of fixtures that includes the first game at the much-talked-about Centennial Stadium plus the special Anzac Day match.

The Kangas enter the season as reigning premiers but Mt Barker, the team they beat in the decider, is the side on everybody’s lips. After coming so close to that elusive flag the Bulls are gearing up for another big tilt with some impressive inclusions and the majority of their senior core from last year.

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Those recruits have most in the local football world believing the Bulls are firm premiership favourites with some saying the black and green men will be practically unbeatable in 2017.

Yes, they have added a Kleemann medallist and a Plaisted medallist, but to say the Bulls have the flag stitched up is a silly statement.

The Kangas will again have a big say on proceedings with their off-season recruiting also strong and the lure of a fourth straight premiership spurring them on.

The addition of livewire Sam Baddeley-Holmes and ball magnet Arana O’Byrne along with a stack of talented young kids has Royals well in the mix, as coach James McRae has spruiked a lightning-fast game style.

I expect these three teams to significantly challenge one another throughout the regular season and one side may be stiff in missing out on the top-two finish later in the year.

Can the addition of a few recruits propel Railways back into flag contention? The Tigers have picked up a number of new faces which hasn’t been the case in the past few years and their midfield looks extremely strong.

Denmark-Walpole have lost more players than they have gained and the names on their omission list is concerning.

Coach Matt Candy will look to add more youth but the Magpies will have to surprise a few to be a finals possibility.

Albany is as important as any side to this competition and its long-term sustainability, so wouldn’t it be great to see the Sharks notch a couple of wins?

Fantastic to see coach Scott Sedgwick take the senior reins and with Kim Mayfield helping out plus a new home for the GSFL’s newest club, there is plenty to be optimistic about.

Once again it promises to be a fantastic season. Sit back and enjoy the ride!

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