West Augusta eyeing an improved SGL season

REDEMPTION: West Augusta coach Corey McKenzie and captain Michael Curley are looking forward to an improved 2019 SGL season.
REDEMPTION: West Augusta coach Corey McKenzie and captain Michael Curley are looking forward to an improved 2019 SGL season.

After finishing at the foot of the Spencer Gulf Football League (SGL) ladder last year, West Augusta are aiming for a much-improved campaign in 2019.

Despite registering just one win last season, the Hawks will be hoping the patience and faith stored in their young talents will now begin to pay dividends.

With their youngsters having experienced a full season of senior football, combined with some star recruits, coach Corey McKenzie is feeling optimistic.

"We've got a few recruits, which will give us a bit of strength and experience around the ball, while the younger guys have got stronger now with a season under their belt," McKenzie said.

"The young guys will keep improving, but this will give us more numbers to select from as well, which will make it tougher come selection night and create a bit of competition for spots."

Westies have snatched exciting forward Braden Allen, who was selected in the 2018 SGL Team of the Year, from Central Augusta, as well as Declan Duffy from Orrorroo and Aaron Toome from Macclesfield.

While the three new signings have raised the bar within the playing group, it's been two young guns who have caught their coach's eye with their impressive pre-season form. 

"Charlie Ryan has really stepped up. It's his first year out of under 18s, and he looks a lot stronger and fitter," McKenzie said.

"Tariek Newchurch is another one who has been training really well."

The Hawks face a challenging assignment in the season opener, coming up against reigning back-to-back-to-back premiers South Augusta on Anzac Day.

Club captain Michael Curley said the side is shaping up well ahead of the clash against their old rivals.

"The group that comes to training has been gelling well," Curley said.

"They're at the right age.

"We've got the young kids, and the guys we've recruited that are in that 21 to 25 age bracket, then we've got a core group of about 12, which puts us at a really good time for the improve.

"South has set the benchmark for three years now, so round one is going to be a good test for us."

See the season previews for South and Central in the The Trans on April 17 and April 24.