STAWELL - New Stawell Westlift Warriors coach Tim Seymour has been impressed by the younger generation of footballers coming through the ranks.
Stawell's pre-season training got underway prior to Christmas under the watchful eye of Seymour, with Tom Eckel, Jackson Dark and Jamie Bach all stepping up their training regime.
Bach in particular has been progressing well, with Seymour saying the youngster is keen to get fit ahead of the 2013 Wimmera Football League season.
"There have also been a couple of under 16s joining in with training, which is good," Seymour said.
Stawell's training numbers had been reasonable, however it is expected the numbers will climb in the new year.
"It's always hard to get guys training late November-early December," Seymour said.
"However, we'll start to get up and running again next week and I expect numbers will increase."
The focus at training before the festive season was on ball skills including hitting targets and maintaining possession of the football, while sprint sessions were held on Monday nights with Bob Freeland.
Ball skills will continue to be a major theme throughout the pre-season.
"We'll be doing a little bit of everything fitness-wise, with a lot of ball skills. Maintaining possession is one of the biggest keys to it (football)," Seymour said.
Seymour has settled into Stawell since moving to the town in late September with his family, replacing Andrew Bach as Warriors senior coach.
"I've settled in pretty well, getting to know all the guys which is pretty good," Seymour said, adding he hasn't spoken to Bach lately but 'will always keep him in (his) back pocket' for advice.
The new Stawell coach was in Melbourne last year, playing division (1) football for North Footscray in the Western Region Football League.
In 2011, Seymour was the inaugural playing coach of Cairns based AFL club, Cairns City Lions, so he knows what coaching challenges lie ahead.
There are a couple of recruits in the pipeline for Stawell, but the club is still waiting to see what the outcomes will be now that the new year has started.
It will be a relatively new look squad in season 2013, following the losses of 2012 best and fairest Nick Thomas (Great Western), Luke Hendy (Navarre), Adam Taylor and Jack Kelly (Swifts).
Adding to that, 2011 best and fairest Justin Eales and 2012 captain James Delahunty have moved to Penshurst.
Despite a bright start, Stawell had a horror 2012 season with injuries and player unavailability hitting the team hard and the Warriors finished the year in sixth position with five wins.
Stawell's pre-season training recommences next Monday, January 14 at Central Park.