By Andrew Wiles – @andrewjwiles
2014 season wrap
After moving into the newly restructured QAFL in 2014, to finish the home and away season in second position after 14 wins and four losses, and to be a kick after the siren away from playing off in a grand final, the year should be considered a success for the Palm Beach Currumbin Lions. Despite internal and external beliefs that they had the list to play in the grand final, a disappointing preliminary final loss to Labrador shouldn’t sour what was a very positive year on the whole.
Chad Owens, the man who has taken over the coaching reigns from Daryn Cresswell, identified the need for greater midfield depth in 2015. Headlining a list of 20 new recruits, most of which are younger players, is Dakota Bannister. A member of the 2014 Tasmanian under 18 representative squad and North Launceston senior team, the inside midfielder will provide some grunt to the Lions engine room.
After booting 59 goals last year, spearhead full forward Clint Kelly leads a list departures from Palm Beach’s 2014 playing list. Also leaving are senior players Bryce Perry-Bolt, James Carr, Brent Pearson, Matt Dillon and 2014 QAFL representative Matt Derrick.
A new coach usually brings with him a new game plan; they see things differently from their predecessor. Owens however, an assistant coach under Cresswell in 2014, recognises that not a great deal needs changing. After losing some tall players over summer, the biggest tweak to the Lions setup will involve them running the ball a lot more up the ground.
Coach Chad Owens’ thoughts on 2015
“Our expectations are still extremely high. We think we should be playing in the finals, and then once you get to the finals anything is possible. The boys are training really well, we just had our pre-season camp and it was a good weekend, so they are going along well.”
Who has the X factor?
Owens has placed the spotlight on Brock Askey. The midfielder has been setting the track alight during the pre-season, he is fitter and moving well and Owens is expecting big things in 2015 from him.