By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles
2014 season wrap
Although being beaten convincingly in the grand final by Morningside to the tune of 53 points, 2014 was a successful year for the Labrador Tigers. They finished the home and away season in third, with 13 wins five losses. A loss in the qualifying final to Palm Beach Currumbin lead to two remarkable after the siren wins over Mt Gravatt and Palm Beach, securing them a grand final berth. Despite the result, to make a grand final without any NEAFL players available in the finals like the Tigers did was a fantastic effort.
Labrador’s transfer list was sent into overdrive during summer. Headlining a list of eight recruits are 2014 Southport NEAFL players Josh Baxter and Adam Clarke. Joining the two is Bryce Perry-Bolt from Palm Beach, as well as four players from Tatura in the Goulburn Valley Football League.
With ten players moving on from Labrador, the list of outs is extensive. In terms of names, they don’t come much bigger than Simon Seddon, Kurt Nikalus and Kieran Daley, who have all opted to move on from the Tigers in 2015. They leave a void of not only footballing ability, but leadership experience. Amongst others on the move are Matt Clarke and Will Jacobs, both members of the grand final team, as well as Clint Cassidy, Ned Ausebrook, Michael Cox and Brayden Eddy who were all injured during the finals campaign.
Pre Season Focus
The focus over summer for coach Steve Daniel was recruiting to fill the areas of weakness. Daniel believes that in order to become more competitive with the likes of Morningside in 2015, their forward line needed to become stronger. This has lead to the inclusions of Josh Baxter, Adam Clarke and Bryce Perry-Bolt, who will all have roles to play in the forward 50.
Coach Steve Daniel’s thoughts on 2015
“We are expecting it to be tougher than it was last year, we are expecting the competition to certainly step up again. If we do everything, and all the boys do everything we are asking them to do at the moment we would like to think that we are going to be there when the whips are cracking at the end of the season.
“Our main goal is to win enough games to play finals football and then it all starts again.”
Who has the X factor?
Keep an eye out for Josh Baxter. Coming off a very impressive 2014 NEAFL season, Baxter has been lighting up the track with the Tigers, and looks primed for a very big 2015.