Tuesday 29 March 2011

Redland’s new game plan will receive the ultimate test in the opening round of the NEAFL premiership season against 2010 grand finalists Labrador at Cooke-Murphy Oval on Saturday.

Bombers skipper Phil Carse hinted at the NEAFL season launch that coach Matty Francis had made some significant changes to the way the side will play in 2011.

Since Francis took over at Redland, and under the astute administrative leadership of club president Col Tobiasen and football manager Craig Millar, the Bombers have transformed from a basket case easybeat to a serious finals contender over the last three years.

After finishing third in 2009 but crashing out with successive finals losses, Redland narrowly missed the finals last year.

A swag of AFL recruits and the new plan should have the Bombers right in the mix again in 2011.

“It’s very exciting, full credit to Funky (Millar) and the boys because they’ve gone out and done some great recruiting,” Carse said.

“We’ve got some good young players coming through and our pre-season form showed we’ll be pretty competitive.”

Carse added that ever-enthusiastic Francis had lost none of his spark going into his fourth season as coach.

“He certainly has some passion,” Carse said. “He’s put in a few different plans with our side this year, which I won’t go into.”

Francis will no doubt make good use of Travis Johnstone, Anthony Corrie and Brad Howard, new to the club this year after Scott Clouston and Daniel Dzufer had strong influences in 2010.

“We have recruited a few mature heads from the AFL and they’ve had a positive influence on the group,” Carse said.

“Travis has been great. He only jumped on board in February so he hasn’t been around too long. He’s quiet but he’s very professional, goes about it in a great way and adds a lot to the group.”

The Labrador-Redland clash begins at 2pm.

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