Sunbury Kangaroos have set a platform they hope will help them start life in the Essendon District Football League on the right note.
The Kangaroos, who will play in division 2, are facing the unknown next season stepping into a different competition, but are putting in the hard work behind the scenes to make sure they are ready for the challenge.
Kangaroos coach Anthony Leydin said they had put in a mountain of work the past few months to get them to a good point.
“It’s certainly different to last season, I’m not sure I was even appointed at this time last year,” he said. “The amount of work we’ve done the last couple of months is two months more than this time last year.
“It’s certainly given us a platform to work from.” Leydin said the most important thing for the club was re-signing this year’s playing group. He said of their senior players, only Matthew Wallace hadn’t re-signed for next year. He’ll play with Pascoe Vale in Premier Division. Curtis Schultz and Josh Kanellos (three senior games each this year) have put in clearances to Airport West.
Leydin said the players’ re-signing showed they supported the club’s decision to change leagues.
“It’s a pretty bold decision by the club to go into another league, go into a lower division. That decision has been endorsed by pretty much everyone at the club, players included, as evident by the retention keeping everyone bar one.
“We anticipated that one or two would have a change in lifestyle or work … things went our way.” Having signed this year’s playing group, it has allowed the club to go out and add more depth to the side.
The club is expected to start announcing its new signings in the coming weeks.
“We’ve got players who will hopefully come back, be it senior and/or reserves players and we need every one of them,” Leydin said.
“We’ve got a handful of signed agreements with players and we’re still in discussions with three or four more. We’re certainly expecting to pick up another three or four, but who they are remains to be seen.”
As well as Leydin heading into his second season at the club, the Kangaroos have the same reserves and under-19s coaches.
Leydin said he was looking forward to the challenge ahead.
“I enjoyed [this year] despite only winning six games, I enjoyed my year more than any other year [coaching],” he said.
“We will have lofty expectations, but are aware how big a challenge it is and we’re planning accordingly to hopefully push to having some success.”