It’ll be a different looking Hillside side next season as the Sharks look to break through for an Essendon District Football League division 1 finals win.

After having virtually the same side the last couple of years, the Sharks have fallen short when it has matters the last two years in finals.

This off season has seen a number of changes, with several key players departing and several of new faces joining the club.

Sharks football manager Darren Mantynen said while from the outside it looked like it had been a difficult off season, he said things weren’t as bad as they look.

“It has been hectic,” he said.

“We’ve have two years with the same group and didn’t win a final, so things had to change.

“The outs might look daunting for some people. We’ve had six outs and about 11 confirmed signings.

“We’re talking to another three players… They will have to be the right fit for us.”

Among the outs for the Sharks is captain Joel Bonnici Anthony Aloi, Mitch Church, Joseph and Thomas Drake.

Mantynen said they were expecting some departures, but had been surprised by some others.

While those losses will hurt the Sharks, Mantanyan said they were happy with who they had got in.

“We needed some help in the back line and some leg speed in the middle as well.

“We picked up everyone we needed to. We picked up four guys over 25 and the rest are younger, so a good mix.”

Stephen Syme. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

The Sharks have put in clearances for seven of their signings, but are keeping their big name signings in house at this stage.

Mantynen said those signings are expected to be announced in the next couple of weeks.

Those joining the Sharks include Rhys Bradley, Jake Camilleri, Stefan Depierto Brayden Feltham, Bevan Newell, Jacob Vella and Stephen Syme.

Mantynen  said with both their under-19s and reserves sides playing finals as well this year, things are looking exciting for the future.

“We don’t have massive expectations, we just want to play consistent football,” he said.

“We have some depth, it’s about gelling all the pieces together.”


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