No quick fix in cup quest

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
2018 GSFL League Premiers North Albany captains Graham Ross and Luke Cameron with coach Craig Dew.
Camera Icon2018 GSFL League Premiers North Albany captains Graham Ross and Luke Cameron with coach Craig Dew. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

Rarely do statistics lie. Sixteen of the past 19 premierships have been won by the two clubs, North Albany and Royals.

There are reasons for that.

Neither entertained the idea of a quick fix leading to sustained success and both have enjoyed golden runs in the colts competition. That just starts the conversation.

Many thought last season spelled the end for the Kangas but instead their fifth consecutive premiership was achieved and the talk is to equal Royals’ record of six.

Railways had emerged with a home grand final and after the disappointment of a missed opportunity, they must now find a way to rebound despite the loss of some of their most important players.

With last season’s introduction of the controversial player points system, the common view was that any premiership thrust by the three traditional Albany clubs would be restricted. But that alone is a narrow view.

Prioritising the development of your club’s younger players and coaches put in place in the 16s and colts, could well decide short and long-term futures. This is where Mt Barker, Denmark-Walpole and Albany have an opportunity due to higher points allocations but all three clubs have the challenge of finding the players needed.

Some would say the Sharks’ most competitive season in 2018 was a result of the player points system having an impact. The truth of the matter is the Sharks are becoming more appealing in their own right and this will continue this season.

There is plenty of hype again around the Bulls as they aim to end the longest premiership drought in the GSFL — 23 years. This season could be the year of the Bull or bust with a premiership window open but could quickly close if they were to fall short again. A talented travelling cohort and a committed group of loyal servants make the perfect mix for success.

Denmark-Walpole need a return to finals. New co-coaches Ryan Gaerth and Simon Barker face the challenge of their home ground being unavailable for the first half of the season as it undergoes a multi-million dollar redevelopment.

The Lions, under new coach Andrew Ruck, loom as the big mover with a number of talented recruits and the resulting rejuvenation of being under a new leader. With a significant loss of experience, the Kangas will face their toughest season to stay on top.

If you are going to lift the premiership cup in this game you will need to find the most improvement from within.

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