COACH: DWAIN VIDLER
2016 FINISH: PREMIER (18–0)
2016 BEST-AND-FAIREST: JAMIE SPENCER
2016 LEADING GOAL-KICKER: COBEY AYNSLEY (106)
GROUND: CENTRAL PARK
Apart from the jumpers, not much will have changed down at Shepparton East as the club looks to replicate last year’s form and go back-to-back this season.
The Eagles were dominant in 2016, completing the perfect season finishing 20–0, and premiership coach Dwain Vidler is expecting more of the same this season, but this time with giant ruckman Damon Carroll returning from injury.
“He will be like a new recruit for us, he only played a few games last season but then injured his wrist,” Vidler said. In addition to Carroll, Warrnambool’s James Chittick will be the only real difference to the Eagles with two players departing the premiership side.
Asked whether anything else but a flag would be a failure, Vidler was not setting the bar too high for his formidable side.
“The flag is a goal of ours, but it is a new season so who knows, other clubs may have recruited well,” Vidler said.
“We will have to take it one game at a time and see how we go from there. Our preseason has been great so I am excited for what is ahead.”
Cobey Aynsley will continue to be the club’s go-to forward, but with the likes of Ryan Pfeiffer entering 2017 off the back of an impressive summer, Vidler is thrilled with how things are shaping up at Central Park.
“We are looking at more avenues to goal and Pfeiffer could be an option; he has had a brilliant preseason, so he could be a real key,” Vidler said.