Fresh faces to lead Great Western into first match

FRESH FACES: New recruits BJ Birch-Burton, Danny Grellet, Aidan Marr and coach Will Bell are excited for the new season. Picture: Contributed.
FRESH FACES: New recruits BJ Birch-Burton, Danny Grellet, Aidan Marr and coach Will Bell are excited for the new season. Picture: Contributed.

Things are looking up for Great Western as they head into their first Mininera league contest this weekend.

After lingering in the doldrums for years, the Lions have been working hard to change their fortunes in 2018.

Led by a committed board and coaching staff, Great Western recruited as strongly as any Mininera side in the offseason, setting themselves up for a big push up the ladder.

The Lions were the second worst offensive team in 2017, averaging little more than 50 points per game. But after a serious recruitment drive in the summer they head into the new season with a much more potent midfield and forward line.

Great Western football operations manager Matt Delzotto said the club made a concerted effort to go hard for new players.

“We identified last year we had a great group of young footballers but we needed to add some experience in some key areas,” he said.

“There is now a good mix of experienced and up and coming players.”

The Lions welcome back the much valued talent of Tom Cairns to their team in 2018.

A junior at Great Western, Cairns pursued his football career at various VFL clubs and most recently was with NEAFL team Canberra Demons.

An exciting prospect for the club is also new recruit Steve Lorenzo from the Tiwi Islands. 

Lorenzo arrived in Victoria this week and will add much needed pace to his side’s forward line.

Great Western coach Will Bell said he is rapt to have the services of some quality players at his disposal.

“Steve is electric and just has a nouse for kicking goals while Tom comes back to the club with some great experience under his belt,” he said.

“We have recruited with purpose. We have some genuine goal scorers in there now who will be important in winning games.” 

Bell said he hopes the new players will help his side become more of a threat in the competition.

“I hope to see a bunch of hungry footballers willing to win every contest and that transfer into a Great Western side that can score heavily,” he said.

Delzotto said he has seen a change at the club heading into this season.

“We have Auskick back this year and there are great numbers on the track. The club is just buzzing,” he said.

The Lions take on Caramut in their first game of the season. Despite winning just one game in 2017, Bell believes his side has the capacity to be more competitive.

“There is a higher expectation on the group now. Not only will we go into games wanting to win but we will also be expecting to compete strongly in most matches,” he said.

“We go down there with no idea what to expect, but we will be there giving it our best,” Bell said.​

LIONS’ 2018 RECRUITS

  • Nigel Sibson (Dimboola)
  • Justin Thomas (Imperials)
  • Benjamin Birch-Burton (Stawell)
  • Mitch Kelly (Stawell)
  • Steve Lorenzo (Tiwi Islands)
  • Aidan Marr (Tatyoon)
  • Danny Grellett (Navarre)
  • Tom Cairns (Canberra Demons)