EAST Perth is on course to right the wrongs of 2017, says football manager Mark Winnett.
The Royals finished sixth and outside the finals race last year, their lowest end to a campaign since 2011.
But Winnett said things were looking good ahead of the 2018 season.
“We were disappointed (in 2017) not to have played in the finals for the first time since 2011,” he said. “But we have moved forward and had a positive pre-season.”
Winnett said a stronger start to the year – the Royals started 2017 with five straight defeats – and consistency would have the 17-time premiers back on course.
“The competition is very even,” he said.
“But with a strong start to the season and increased influence by (our) young players (we can challenge for finals).”
The Royals head into the new season without best and fairest Steven Payne, 13-gamer Mitchell Lague, 23-year-old Thomas Hodgson and Jack Hick.
Into the squad is AFL premiership player Sharrod Wellingham, who will play full-time with the Royals after leaving West Coast at the end of 2017.
“Being able to secure a player of Sharrod’s calibre to join our list as an East Perth player is a tremendous addition to our senior playing squad,” Winnett said.
“His pace, elite foot skills and strong attack at the contest and ball will be a genuine asset to us through the midfield.
“Sharrod’s experience and on-field leadership will be invaluable for our younger players in and around the football club and we look forward to him having a strong impact on field… next season and beyond.”
Also in are Tom Gorter, Jamie Rudrum and Jackson Ramsay, who spent time at Collingwood after being selected with pick 38 in the 2012 national draft.
He was hampered by injuries but the Royals say he is fully fit and ready to deliver for his new club.
East Perth kicks off season 2018 at Leederville Oval on March 30 against Subiaco.
Player to watch in 2018? Jackson Ramsay coming back from Collingwood.
Your biggest games in 2018? Rd 1 Good Friday v Subiaco, Rd 9 WA Day v WP, Rd 20 Polly Farmer Shield v WP.
Prediction for Sandover Medal? Sharrod Wellingham.
East Perth Fixtures
Rd 1: Subiaco @ Leederville Oval. March 30.
Rd 2: West Perth @ Leederville Oval. April 7.
Rd 3: Bye.
Rd 4: Perth @ Lathlain Park. April 21.
Rd 5: Peel Thunder @ Leederville Oval. April 29.
Rd 6: East Fremantle @ East Fremantle Oval. May 6.
Rd 7: South Fremantle @ Leederville Oval. May 19.
Rd 8: Swan Districts @ Leederville Oval. May 26.
Rd 9: West Perth @ HBF Arena. June 4.
Rd 10: Bye.
Rd 11: Subiaco @ Leederville Oval. June 16.
Rd 12: Claremont @ Leederville Oval. June 23.
Rd 13: South Fremantle @ Fremantle Oval. June 30.
Rd 14: Bye.
Rd 15: Swan Districts @ Bassendean Oval. July 14.
Rd 16: Claremont @ Claremont Oval. July 21.
Rd 17: Perth @ Leederville Oval. July 28.
Rd 18: Peel Thunder @ Rushton Park. August 4.
Rd 19: East Fremantle @ Leederville Oval. August 11.
Rd 20: West Perth @ Leederville Oval. August 18.
Rd 21: Peel Thunder @ Rushton Park. August 25.