CO-COACHES: SAM AHMET AND RAMADAN YZE
2016 FINISH: FIFTH (8–10)
2016 BEST-AND-FAIREST: JONTY WARDLE
2016 LEADING GOAL-KICKER: COREY HICKFORD (43)
GROUND: KATANDRA RECREATION RESERVE
Co-coaches Sam Ahmet and Ramadan Yze will have a tough job at hand as they aim to keep Katandra in finals contention this season.
With a host of other clubs in the competition having recruited well, the Kats have struggled to bring in any big-name players and have also lost best-and-fairest winner Jonty Wardle.
Wardle has left the Kats to play GVFL football at Shepparton, but Yze believes they will be able to cover him.
“Wardle has left, but we have a number of good players that I believe will step up this season,” Yze said.
Russell Eden, Rex Wardle and Fraser Opie are expected to take their games to the next level, but Yze hopes that they will not be the only ones.
“We have a good core group of players and hopefully we are looking to bring in two or three new players before the season starts,” a tight-lipped Yze said.
“We want to play finals again, so we will need to not only try and bring players in, but also develop the kids that we have.”
It is highly unlikely, but Yze is hoping to drag co-coach Ahmet and good friend Stephen Ash — GVFL premiership teammates at Shepparton in 2000 — out of retirement as he believes they could be in career-best shape.
“They are both tearing up the track, they have been training and look the best they have been in years,” an optimistic Yze said.
The co-coaches understand that success comes with hard work and Yze is excited for what this year will bring after an impressive preseason.
“We have worked hard over the summer and you need to,” Yze said. “We aim to play finals again and if we are in a position to do so, who knows what will happen after that.”