The Sunbury Kangaroos have had an encouraging off season as they look to have an impact in next year’s Essendon District Football League division 2.
The Kangaroos have added several key players to ensure they are at least competitive in their new league, having made the switch from the Riddell District Football League.
Kangaroos’ coach Anthony Leydin said the club was aware of a few areas that needed addressing. heading into next season.
This year, the Kangaroos finished eighth in the RDFL, with just six wins.
“We’ve brought in experience and some top-end talent,” Leydin said. “We’ve also brought some in around the middle tier, so it puts more pressure on everyone to perform.
“Last season depth hurt us and we knew that going into the season. That was more exposed as the season went on.”
Many of the Kangaroos recruits have either connections to the club or live in the Sunbury area.
St Albans’ trio Lachlan Baddeley, Matt Quigley and Michael Spooner have come across together. Key forward Baddeley, whose brother plays at the Kangaroos, and midfielder Quigley, both bring VFL experience.
Nathan Caldone and Nick Angello have come across from Rupertswood, while Jake Young returns to the Kangaroos after a stint at Glenroy.
James Barnes, son of former Essendon and Geelong player John Barnes, returns to the Knagaroos as well, having previously played at the club.
Mick Kilty, a Diggers Rest premiership player, has signed on as a playing assistant coach.
Leydin said having a playing assistant coach would be a different experience for the playing group. “Mick comes with a lot of experience and a high football IQ which the players will benefit from.”
Steve Atherton has also joined as an assistant coach. The remainder of the coaching group stays the same.
Leydin said they hadn’t finished their recruiting.
“We still probably want to get another one or two players before we get things under way next year.”
He said early signs were good, with close to 50 players on the track for their first training session in late November.
He said it was a lot more than they had the same time last year and it was hopefully a sign of things to come.
“At this stage we are pretty satisfied with where we are at,” he said.
“We’ll work on things the next few months and hopefully keep going the way we are going.”
Most of the Kangaroos playing group has re-signed, with only Matthew Wallace from their best 22 not returning, having signed with premier division side Pascoe Vale.