PERTH Demons endured another difficult season last year, finishing last on percentage but there is still some hope.
A last round win over East Perth was not enough as they picked up their third spoon in four seasons.
Some of the key ins include Corey Yeo, brother of West Coast Eagles star Elliot Yeo, and Matthew Taylor, who was previously picked up by North Melbourne in the Rookie Draft.
Coach Earl Spalding said they were disappointed to finish at the foot of the table again but felt they had unearthed some very talented young players who were part of the successful 2016 Colts team.
“We were smashed with injuries and lost a fair bit of experience from the previous season, so we were always going to be up against it, so the main objective was to give these young players a taste of league football, with both eyes on the future,” he said.
“Our victory in the last game against a very experienced East Perth side should give us great confidence going into this year.”
Spalding said he expected improvement from the club’s young players, who were older, fitter and stronger while they had also recruited some experienced players.
“We’ve targeted our defence all over the ground as an area we really needed to improve on and have dedicated a session a week to this,” he said. But Spalding did not think the Demons could win the premiership this season although he expected them to be a much more competitive side.
“We’ve had a sprint coach working with the group and we think the results will hold us in very good stead, with our outside speed to be a feature of our play,” he said.
“This was an area that was very inconsistent last year, as was our ability to hit targets by foot and a number of our recruits come with good reputations in regards to foot skills.”
Perth kicks off season 2018 at Lathlain Park on March 31 against Swan Districts.
Player to watch in 2018: Corey Byrne
Biggest games in 2018: First three games – Swan Districts, East Fremantle and Peel. These will set the tone for our season.
Prediction for Sandover Medal: Zac Clarke.
Perth Demons fixtures
Rd 1: v Swan Districts @ Lathlain Park. March 31.
Rd 2: v East Fremantle @ East Fremantle Oval. April 7.
Rd 3: v Peel Thunder @Bendigo Bank Stadium. April 15.
Rd 4: v East Perth @ Lathlain Park. April 21.
Rd 5: v West Perth @Lathlain Park. April 28.
Rd 6: Bye
Rd 7: v Claremont @ Claremont Oval. May 19.
Rd 8: v Subiaco @ Lathlain Park. May 26.
Rd 9: v Swan Districts @ Steel Blue Oval. June 2.
Rd 10: v South Fremantle @ Lathlain Park. June 9.
Rd 11: v East Fremantle @ Lathlain Park. June 16.
Rd 12: v West Perth @ HBF Arena. June 23.
Rd 13: Bye
Rd 14: v Swan Districts @ Steel Blue Oval. July 7.
Rd 15: v Peel Thunder @ Lathlain Park. July 14.
Rd 16: v East Fremantle @Lathlain Park. July 21.
Rd 17: v East Perth @ Leederville Oval. July 28.
Rd 18: Bye
Rd 19: v Claremont @ Lathlain Park. August 11.
Rd 20: v South Fremantle @ Fremantle Oval. August 18.
Rd 21: v Subiaco @ Leederville Oval. August 25.