Allied Pickfords Preview: Sandgate

The Hawks are after a culture change in 2013.

Sandgate senior coach, Rob Dickfos, knows that wins will not be the marker of success for the Hawks this season.

After finishing mid-table with a 9-7 record last year, Dickfos said the club was turning a new leaf, starting with an improved attitude.

“Wins are not the focal point this year,” Dickfos said.

Dickfos has brought a new, disciplinarian approach to the club, right down to training, and said he had been impressed with the players’ receptiveness to change.

“Having guys down there because they want to be there means they have the right attitude,” he said.

“The players have been excellent. I’ve been extremely happy with the the commitment and work that the guys down there have shown.”

With a relatively young list, Dickfos said he would be drawing upon his experiences with Redcliffe juniors in developing the club’s talent.

“I am looking long term. If we can get to them early on, then that makes it simpler later,” he said.

Dickfos said coming in as a new coach was an exciting prospect for both him and the players, offering the group a chance to avoid being type cast.

“I haven’t pencilled people in to be seniors, reserves or under-18s,” he said

“I‘m giving them an opportunity to reinvent themselves. It adds a lot more enthusiasm from the whole squad.

“Also, those senior blokes who have played in the last few years, know they have to lift their game otherwise they will lose their spots. I have no trouble going with youth.”

With such a young side, Hawks fans can expect to see a faster, more mobile side this season.

“With a young, small side we’re going to be moving the ball quickly and backing our one-on-one contests.”

With a number of players coming through the under-18s, including Ben Conway and Corbin Dickfos, Sandgate is optimistic about the future.

The Hawks will be relying on these younger players to pull through this year, after losing a swag of senior players at the end of last season to NEAFL clubs and work commitments.

While he admitted that finals would still be a major focus, Dickfos said respect was the number one objective for the Hawks at this point.

“Everyone’s aim is to play finals footy, obviously. My job is to develop these guys to learn these games properly to give them every chance to do that,” he said.

“We’re all about the players taking responsibility for how the team plays, how the team is perceived within the AFL community, our conduct and the type of men we are.

“They just have to earn respect by their actions.”

Sandgate opens its season against Springwood at Lemke Rd on April 20.

For the full fixture, click here.

Sandgate 2013 Outs

Ben Beavan
Will Bradley
Liam Rutledge
Aiden Rutledge
Sam Gribble
Brendan Forbes
Michael Pettitt
Aaron Fabian
Patrick Walton
Troy Millard
Ben Long
Luke Reynolds
Dan Dai
Matthew Nuss

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