Sharks have renewed hope in quest for second win

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Albany coach Kim Mayfield.
Camera IconAlbany coach Kim Mayfield. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany coach Kim Mayfield says his side are not feeling the pressure despite many pundits believing the Sharks can knock over Denmark-Walpole in the opening round of the Great Southern Football League.

The Sharks have only one league win to their name but enter 2019 with renewed hope on the back of some strong recruiting, and face a Magpies side on Sunday that will be significantly weaker than last year.

Four tipsters in the GSFL footy tipping competition have picked Sharks to win this week while in the Albany Advertiser pre-season guide many predicted the Sharks to finish above the Magpies in their ladder forecast.

Mayfield, however, was not buying into the hype, saying his side were just eager to get back playing and have a healthy respect for all opposition.

“The players themselves are looking forward to playing more so than anything, irrespective of the opposition,” Mayfield said.

“You’ve got to respect the opposition. This year brings new opportunity for the players to test ourselves again.

“Hopefully we are able to bridge the gap.”

New recruits Coen Marwick and Taj Williams will play against the Magpies in Sunday’s clash at Centennial Stadium while the likes of Regan Poett, Brock Tiede, Robbie Lee and Jermaine Bropho are also expected to feature in the Sharks league team.

Mayfield confirmed that ruckman Stewart Davies will miss four to six weeks with injury and that his side will still be missing a number of first-choice players this week.

Mt Barker travel to face Royals in their round 1 contest on Saturday, also at Centennial Stadium, with the Bulls set to unveil new recruits Jesse Wynne and Jared Ismail.

The dynamic Wynne will be important for the Bulls front half given the absence of Kym Monteath in the first couple of rounds while Ismail will add to their midfield power.

David Stone and Mitch Ballard are the other new faces for the Bulls in round 1 while Monteath, prize signing Leigh Conway, star ball winner Joel Gray and Steven Scott will not play.

The Lions are expected to roll out star pick-up Steven Edwards in their first game under new coach Andrew Ruck.

Recruits Jordan Heil, Stephen Beal and Tyrese Pickett-Miller could be among the other new faces for the Lions in their home fixture.

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