Season. Following the success of Smithton Football Club’s inaugural year as Circular Head Giants, the club is preparing for the 2017 season of the North West Football League.
As round one nears, coaches Aaron Tuxworth and Nathan Drake will continue with the Seniors and Reserves respectively.
Following a solid preseason, Tuxworth says the Giants are ready ahead of their clash with Devonport this Saturday (April 1).
“We have a more defensive structure this season,” he said.
“I think in the past we’ve been too easy to score against, so [we’ll look] to win more contests in the midfield and apply the pressure moving forward.
“We have some real depth in our list for the first time in a few years and a good spread of senior guys. With a few of our 100 game players and then a few still in the zero to 50 mark, there is a good mix of youth and experience.”
Following the loss of Tyson Armstrong and Jacob Willie, the Giants have signed Guy Kearnes, Jordan Lockett, Scott Jackson, Bon Radford and Jarrod Watling to the senior line up.
Tuxworth said he expects the overall standard of the competition to have increased during the off season, and with that the Giants too will need to strive.
“We’re under no illusions that we won’t have to work. We’ll really have to go out there if we want the points,” he said.
With a 21 day break in June, Tuxworth says he’ll treat this as a second preseason.
“Hopefully it will work in our advantage for a good second half of the year.”
The Giants will host their first home game during round two next Saturday (April 8) against East Devonport.
“The first two games will gives us a good indication of where we are at,” he said.
“Naturally everyone has improved [across the board] so we need to take that extra step and really fight to make finals.”
In Reserves news, coach Drake says while he is confident heading into round one and two against Devonport and East Devonport, the side still has a tough season ahead of them.
“Devonport have picked up a few more players and are shaping up to be a reasonable side but I don’t think they’ll have the depth we do,” he said.
“East Devonport have really struggled for the last five to six years, so they should be an easy win, especially at home.
“If we can get two early wins, that will be a good way to kick off the season and then we can get that momentum going. But it’s all still pretty unknown until after round one.”
The Giants fought through to make the NWFL Reserves Preliminary Final last year against Penguin, however a 34-point loss ended their premiership dreams.
Drake says the side will “go one better” this season to feature in the Grand Final.
NWFL round one proceedings will begin in Devonport from 10am this Saturday (April 1) with the Greenham Tasmania Circular Head Giants’ Under 18s running out first, followed by Reserves at 12pm and Seniors at 2pm.