Cranbourne president Gerry Kelly understands that there will be “chatter” surrounding the club heading into the AFL Outer East season, but insists the club is in tip-top shape and can’t wait to get the season started.
The Eagles kick off their season on 13 April against Beaconsfield, and will have a new-look about them in 2019 after going down in a brave preliminary final defeat to Narre Warren, with several senior players departing, most notably legendary sharpshooter Marc Holt to Karingal.
But Kelly said that it presents an exciting new opportunity for the next batch of Cranbourne stars to step up to the plate in the Premier division.
“I’m sure there’s chatter about Cranbourne going around everywhere, maybe some people will be surprised when we actually get the season started,” he said.
“The boys have been training really well, we’re ready to go.
“There’s going to be a lot of quality players here this year – Shaun Marusic, Ryan Jones, a young bloke by the name of Cam Angus has been training the house down.
“You look through our list, it’s very strong, so we’re very happy with how it’s going – it presents a new opportunity with lots of new players, and there’s opportunities everywhere for young players to step up and play senior footy.
“We have lots of good players.”
Kelly said that the club did all they could to be part of the MPNFL in 2019 and beyond, but once that passed, the AFL Outer East competition provided a tremendous opportunity for the club to continue building its brand and branching out into the Yarra Valley.
“We’ve behind the eight ball a little bit, because we weren’t preparing for Outer East, we were hoping to get into the Peninsula league,” he said.
“But that didn’t work out, so we’re really looking forward to being in the Outer East, maintaining our old rivalries with the clubs and looking forward to playing some new clubs, going to some new country towns, it’s fantastic.
“We’re really looking forward to it. It’s exciting; I’m really looking forward to the season and Round 1 against Beaconsfield at Casey Fields.”
Kelly also said that the club is in the final stages of completing plans for an Under 19 side, urging anyone interested to get in touch with the club and join.
“We’re just about there; we just need a couple more players,” he said.
“We’re looking for new players to join the club.”
If anyone is interested in joining the club, they can contact Gerry Kelly 0447 771 527.