THE Bullsbrook Saints Football Club is looking forward to a fresh start this season after a “tough” 2016.
Coach Ray Marsh said the club almost folded at the start of the previous season when only six players turned up for pre-season training.
Despite pushing ahead and recruiting more players, the team struggled through the season, failing to win a game.
Marsh said the team had a point to prove this year and was looking forward to a competitive season.
“We lost 20 players, with a lot of players moving to other clubs,” he said.
“We lost every game and finished last, which was really tough for the boys after making it to the preliminary finals in 2015.”
Marsh said the Saints would return to the field stronger this year, with a new team of young players.
“We’ve got 40 players on the books this year, with 26 on the track,” he said.
“There are a lot of young players, with an average age of 21. Scotty Noonan, Brad Mutimer, Bradley Flavel and Patty Mather were looking really good in pre-season and I think they’ll be ones to watch this season.”
He said he expected Chidlow to be the team to beat this year.
“Gidgegannup have been the strongest team over the past few years, but Chidlow are looking good. They have a few good players and haven’t lost many of their older players,” he said.
The team will take on Mundaring in the first game of the season on April 30.
Marsh said he was confident going into the game.
“I feel confident. I think they’re a side we can match up against by looking at how we are performing in pre-season training,” Marsh said.
He said supporters and sponsors had been brilliant and had supported the club through the tougher days.
He said he hoped the club would gain more support over the upcoming season.
“We need more support from the community,” he said.
“I should be able to walk into the local pub and have people know I’m the coach of the local footy team. There is a lack of support from the community, so we would encourage people to get behind the team and come to watch some of the games.
“We’re keen to move forward and build up this new team and are looking forward to a stronger year.”