BUPA TSL Round One Preview

The footy season is back!

A long summer has come and gone as we prepare for what promises to be a competitive 2018 Tasmanian State League season.

Round one offers up some mouthwatering prospects. A host of former Demons returning to North Hobart Oval in yellow and black, a battle of premiership fancies in Launceston and an intriguing round one Eastern Shore derby are on the menu, every match with plenty of sub stories and elements of intrigue.

CHECK OUT THE TEAM LISTS HERE

 

Friday 30th March

North Hobart vs Tigers (North Hobart Oval) – 3:05pm

Last Time They Met: Hobart City Demons 14.12.96 def. Tigers 11.11.77 (Round 21, 2017 at North Hobart Oval)

Both North Hobart and the Tigers have undergone significant changes across the off season as they look to develop from being young sides of promise to genuine TSL heavyweights.

The Demons have regained their traditional strip and identity as North Hobart, while also elevating Richard ‘Bear’ Robinson to fill the senior coaching role left by Kane Richter.

Hugh Williams will once again captain the Dees, but the challenge will be for North Hobart to build off signs of promise last season with a drastically different playing group.

Ryan Matthews will be in new colours in 2018. IC: Solstice Digital & Photography

A lot of these changes are directly related to the Demons’ round one opponents with former assistant coach Trent Baumeler now the head coach of the Tigers.

A host of playing stars have also made the move including midfield stars Will Campbell and Ryan Matthews, crafty forward Blake Grant and key defender Jake Doran – all of whom are set to line up in round one.

The Tigers will enter 2018 without Brandon Batchelor (NEAFL) and Mitchell Walker (Glenorchy) but have the backing of many to become a genuine finals threat after several seasons of being labelled as ‘promising cubs’.

Tensions have been bubbling in the development of this modern rivalry in recent seasons and so much off-field movement and noise over the off season is likely to only ignite this further. Expect fireworks out of this intriguing clash.

 

 

North Launceston vs Launceston (UTAS Stadium) – 6:30pm

Last Time They Met: North Launceston 14.10.94 def. Launceston 9.4.58 (Round 21, 2017 at Windsor Park)

UTAS Stadium will host what promises to be one of the biggest matches of the season when cross-town rivals and pre-season fancies North Launceston and Launceston test their premiership credentials.

Mitch Thorp will add plenty to Launceston’s forward line. IC: Andrew Woodgate

Launceston may not have beaten North Launceston since 2013, but after a savvy offseason of high profile signings and a stunning run throughout the 2017 finals series, the Blues look primed for an all-out assault on the flag that currently resides with their cross-town rivals.

The Blues stunned Glenorchy and Clarence throughout the finals of last season and the key signings of Mitch Thorp and Dylan Riley since has only enhanced the excitement that surrounds the Blues leading into a new season. These big names, on top of the development of emerging stars like Brodie Palfreyman, makes Launceston a force to be reckoned with.

The Bombers enter the season full of confidence after an emphatic 2017 season which included the premiership, new captain Brad Cox-Goodyer being recognised as the Alastair Lynch Medallist and Baldock Medallist and the continued development of a host of new and emerging stars.

The Bombers were challenged at times last season but stood tall to secure their title as the state’s best and with Taylor Whitford stepping up to coach the team, the side will once again be striving for success.

Will Mitch Thorp and Dylan Riley start their time at the Blues with a bang? Will the Bombers put the foot down and rubber-stamp their standing as premiership favourite? Are Launceston the real deal?

Some of the off season’s hottest questions look set to be answered as these two teams go head to head in a battle for northern supremacy. This will be essential viewing.

 

Saturday 31st March

Lauderdale vs Clarence (Lauderdale Oval) – 2:00pm

Last Time They Met: Lauderdale 20.6.126 def. Clarence 7.11.53 (Qualifying Final, 2017 at Blundstone Arena)

On Easter Saturday the sometimes spiteful but always thrilling Eastern Shore Derby resumes as Lauderdale play host to Clarence.

Lauderdale defeated Clarence by 47 points in the 2017 Qualifying Final after the Roos had the better of the southern Bombers throughout the home and away season.

How will Lauderdale respond after the grand final? IC: Solstice Digital & Photography

Clarence will be hurting after being knocked out of the finals in straight sets while Lauderdale will have a point to prove after being outplayed by North Launceston in the Grand Final.

Both outfits have retained most of their stars; although Clarence will be without Sam Siggins (Geelong) and Lauderdale will no longer have the services of midfield star Dylan Fyfe (NEAFL).

Lauderdale and Clarence still boast two of the competition’s most impressive lists, however, with this match set to be won and lost in the star-heavy midfield battle that will include the likes of Walsh, Harper, Franklin and Jones.

With the competition set to be as close as ever, wins against teams of similar ability will be worth their weight in gold, further underlining the importance of this opening round encounter for both Clarence and Lauderdale.

The two teams look set to be contenders once again in 2018 and with the hype surrounding another edition of the Eastern Shore Derby, expect both the Bombers and the Roos to rise to the occasion.

 

TSL Players To Watch: Mitch Carter

In anticipation for the start of the 2018 Tasmanian State League season, we take a look at a player from every club that you should keep your eyes on this year. 

Mitch Carter

Club: Tigers FC

IC: Solstice Digital & Photography

As one of the recruits of the 2017 TSL season, Mitch Carter has emerged as one of the finest players at the Twin Ovals and will once again have a crucial role to play this season.

Carter made an immediate impact on the TSL with his pinpoint kicking out of the back half and his stunning capacity to take intercept marks.

The Tigers’ defensive group was under siege at times in 2017 and Carter was a Goliath in defence, repelling attacking play after attacking play under testing circumstances.

Carter is as determined at the contest as he is classy with the football, making him the ideal defender and a valuable leader for an emerging side with hopes of cracking into finals football for the first time this season.

Although a medium-sized defender, Carter has the ability to play on taller opponents, but with the addition of key defender Jake Doran from the Demons over the off-season, one can expect Carter to play more of an attacking game out of defence, making him an even more valuable commodity for Trent Baumeler’s side.

The Tigers’ 2018 campaign will get underway with a Good Friday blockbuster against North Hobart at North Hobart Oval.

TSL Players To Watch: Tarryn Thomas

In anticipation for the start of the 2018 Tasmanian State League season, we take a look at a player from every club that you should keep your eyes on this year. 

Tarryn Thomas

Club: North Launceston

Few Tasmanian footballers have generated the buzz and excitement of North Launceston star Tarryn Thomas in recent times.

Thomas, a skillful player with the capacity to play across half-back, half-forward and in the middle, played an integral role in North Launceston’s 2017 flag triumph and will once again be a player to watch when he dons the famous red sash in 2018.

     IC: Andrew Woodgate

The talented 18-year-old has been dominant in recent seasons as a Tasmanian youth representative, all the while also impressing in the Tasmanian State League as a Northern Bomber.

Much of Thomas’ 2018 campaign will be focused on Tassie Mariners representation as he looks towards the AFL draft, but when available, Thomas will provide Taylor Whitford’s premiership favourite with plenty of versatility, skill and class.

Expect Thomas to once again provide explosive pace across the ground as he looks to break the lines, but also look out for his pressure on the ball carrier and determination for the contest, epitomized by his relentless tackle pressure and fearlessness when putting his head over the ball.

Thomas is the all-round package and a genuine star in the making that will provide opposition coaches with plenty of headaches. This is likely to be the last season we get to see Thomas in the TSL, so make the most of it.

North Launcetson’s 2018 campaign gets underway with a Good Friday blockbuster against Launceston at UTAS Stadium.

BUPA TSL TEAMS – Round 1

Teams have been named for round one of the 2018 Tasmanian State League season with a host of fresh faces set to represent their clubs for the first time.

A host of former Hobart City Demons players will line up as Tigers against North Hobart in the season opener on Friday, including midfield stars Will Campbell and Ryan Matthews and key defender Jake Doran.

The reigning premiers are set to take on fellow premiership fancy, and cross-town rival Launceston on Good Friday with former Devonport defender Sherrin Egger and mainland recruit Michael Tang two of several big names listed for the Bombers.

Launceston boast an impressive team on paper with Devonport stars Dylan Riley and Mitch Thorp slotting straight into a side that stunned throughout the 2017 finals series.

Lauderdale and Clarence will resume hostilities in the Eastern Shore Derby on Saturday with the Bombers naming Tim Mosquito, Kim Kantilla and Henry Kerinaiua – three recruits from the Northern Territory – for the clash. The Bombers will be without a host of stars through suspension, however, including Thor Boscott (also injured), Josh McGuinness and Robbie McManus.

The Roos bound into the season with several new names, headlined by star SFL recruits Troy Cunliffe and Ryan Edmondson, both of Lindisfarne.

 


NORTH HOBART v. TIGERS

Round 1 – 30/03/2018

3:05PM – North Hobart Oval

2615145.jpg

North Hobart
B: H. Williams, J. Clifford, B. Walker
HB: H. Williams, H. Ireland, S. Collins
C: J. Cleaver, N. McCulloch, C. Leek
HF: J. Barwick, C. Kilpatrick, C. Ransom
F: T. Reeves, W. Peppin, J. Barwick
R: G. Unsworth, T. Millhouse, B. Tilbury
Int: W. Burgess, N. Lee, S. Caswell, M. Woods
Emg: O. Walker, W. Cole, J. Gourlay, K. Williams

2408665.png
Tigers
B: B. Rees, T. Carter, B. Donnelly
HB: M. Carter, J. Doran, M. Davies
C: S. Rice, W. Campbell, L. Clifford
HF: B. Grant, C. Sawdy, S. Duigan
F: C. Bryant, E. Burrows-Cheng, L. Graham
R: H. Thompson, R. Matthews, L. Watt
Int: H. Johnston, B. McCulloch, O. Burrows-Cheng, B. Graham
Emg: J. Manix, W. Dean, A. Humphrey, B. Gordon


NORTH LAUNCESTON v. LAUNCESTON

Round 1 – 30/03/2018

6:30PM – UTAS Stadium

2408668.jpg

North Launceston

B: S. Egger, Z. Burt, J. Foon
HB: A. Richter-Salter, C. Young, B. Sharman
C: M. Tang, B. Cox-Goodyer, J. Cousens
HF: B. Simpson, T. Bennett, J. Pearce
F: J. Avent, B. McCulloch, J. Ponting
R: A. Lee, M. Walsh, T. Whitford
Int: K. Curtis, C. Lowe, F. Bennett, D. Bannister
Emg: T. Foon, J. Harris, C.Pearton, L. Young

2408662.png
Launceston

B: J. Boyce, S. Vandervelde, C. Savage
HB: C. Brown, J. Aganas, D. Riley
C: T. Sheppard, J. Blackberry, J. Hinds
HF: J. Smith, M. Spohn, B. Killalea
F: S. Whiting, M. Thorp, S. Rundle
R: H. Leedham, B. Palfreyman, B. Taylor
Int: J. Nunn, R. Kelly-Mansell, A. Liberatore, J. Gillow
Emg: J. Boyd, A. Wright, J. Rushton, G. Millucci


LAUDERDALE v. CLARENCE

Round 1 – 31/03/2018

2:00PM – LAUDERDALE OVAL

2408669.jpg
Lauderdale
B: R. Hill, A. Hill, S. Hill
HB: T. Mosquito, B. McGuinness, N. Raglione
C: J. Williams, B. Walsh, A. Hevey
HF: N. Laoumtzis, R. Wiggins, B. Keiselis
F: H. Kerinaiua, C. Hooker, K. Kantilla
R: H. Smith, N. Franklin, P. Bellchambers
Int: R. Sutton, E. Stanley, B. Newell, S. Kennedy
Emg: J. Klok, T. Daff, J. Perkins, J. Roberts

2408663.jpg

Clarence
B: J. Holmes, J. Bailey, T. Castle
HB: A. Jackman, R. Edmondson, M. Ling
C: K. Howlett, J. Harper, J. Webberley
HF: M. Blackburn, T. Williamson, B. Jones
F: A. Dickenson, H. Richmond, T. Standen
R: R. Bailey, J. Cox, T. Cunliffe
Int: W. Wall, F. Seymour, C. Nield, G. Chambers
Emg: A. Silver, J. Bealey, B. Dart, J. Brenner


CLICK HERE FOR TEAM SHEETS

CLICK HERE FOR UMPIRE APPOINTMENTS

 



MERCURY CUP – ROUND ONE TEAMS

 

NORTH HOBART v. TIGERS 

Round 1 – 30/03/2018

12:30PM – North Hobart Oval

2615145.jpg

North Hobart

To be selected from:

S. Becker, M. Bowerman, W. Cole, W. Cottier, M. Evans, P. Fisher, J. Gourlay,

W. Hodgman, P. Kearney, A. Keeling, F. Lapham, J. Maple, T. McGinniss, A. Moore,

A. Norton, A. O’Meara, M. Paolini, H. Thomas, O. Walker, P. Walker, K. Williams, T. Willmott

2408665.png

Tigers

To be selected from:

L. Ayliffe, J. Banks – Balding, M. Cooke, J. Cummins, W. Dean, J. Dharmawardena,

C. Doyle, B. Garth-Smith, B. Gordon, A. Huizing, A. Humphrey, P. Kelly,

J. Keogh, L. Knowles, J. Manix, P. Reihana, M. Reynolds, M. Rickards,

K. Riley, J. Wells


NORTH LAUNCESTON v. LAUNCESTON 

Round 1 – 30/03/2018

3:30PM – UTAS Stadium

2408668.jpg

North Launceston

To be selected from:

D. Baker, T. Claxton, M. Cossins, J. Donaldson, M. Donnelly, T. Foon,

B. Freeman, J. Harris, C. Harrison, B. Holmes, N. Jackson, A. Jefferies,

L. Jones, J. Kerr, J. Krushka, J. Mazengarb, C. Pearton, A. Potter,

C. Praciak, H. Rand, J. Russell, O. Sanders, C. Stuart, S. Tyson,

T. Webb, L. Young

2408662.png

Launceston

To be selected from:

T. Lucas, J. Barker, M. Blazely, J. Bott, J. Boyd, S. Bruinewoud, Z. Camplin,

B. Catterall, E. Conway, C. Curtis, A. Dickenson, J. Edmunds, L. Gee,

H. Griffiths, G. Holt, J. Marsden, T. Miller, G. Millucci, B. Neil,

Z. Oldenhof, J. Rushton, J. Talbot, J. Tuthill, A. Wright,B. Czatterall,

J. O’Donnell, P. Mackerell, S. Weedon


LAUDERDALE v. CLARENCE 

Round 1 – 31/03/2018

11:30AM – Lauderdale Oval

2408669.jpg

Lauderdale
To be selected from:

S. Clayton, T. Daff, J. DiIenno, J. Fisher, W. Francis, L. Harrison,

T. Havea, R. Hooker, P. Hudson, D. Johns, J. Klok, C. Laoumtzis,

J. Lewis, T. Martin, T. McKnight, B. Newell, J. Perkins, S. Perkins,

J. Roberts, T. Steele, D. Stewart

2408663.jpg
Clarence

To be selected from:

K. Bailey, J. Bealey, C. Berry, J. Brenner, H. Burgess, R. Cowie,

B. Dart, A. Gaul, T. Hanslow, D. Howlett, C. Lovell, T. Marshall, O. Paprotny,

D. Reimers, F. Seymour, B. Sharman, A. Silver, J. Smith, S. Storic,

J. Tilley, M. Williamson, J. Young

TSL Players To Watch: Hugh Williams

In anticipation for the start of the 2018 Tasmanian State League season, we take a look at a player from every club that you should keep your eyes on this year. 

Hugh Williams

Club: North Hobart Football Club

IC: Andrew Woodgate

They say ‘every heart beats true for the red and the blue’ at North Hobart Oval, and few players epitomize this passion for the club more than captain Hugh Williams.

Very much the heart and soul of North Hobart, Williams will yet again play a crucial role not only as a key defender, but as a leader and mentor throughout 2018.

Now in his sixth season as skipper, Williams will continue to play an important role in the development of emerging stars like Baxter Norton, all while locking down a key post in defence with the potential to also drift forward and provide a target inside forward 50.

The Demons showed plenty of promise across 2017, finishing just outside the top five on percentage and although 2018 will see the Demons field a side full of new faces, expect this to fuel the Demons as they chase a finals berth.

Williams will lead the Demons against the Tigers on Good Friday for the opening match of the season.

TSL Players To Watch: Brodie Palfreyman

In anticipation for the start of the 2018 Tasmanian State League season, we take a look at a player from every club that you should keep your eyes on this year. 

Brodie Palfreyman

Club: Launceston Football Club

    IC: Solstice Digital

One of the breakout performers in 2017, Brodie Palfreyman has emerged as one of the state’s finest midfielders and will no doubt be a player to watch in 2018.

Palfreyman was named in Launceston’s best on 10 occasions last season, underlining his consistency and importance as a member of the Blues’ engine room.

With the ability to break clear from stoppages and create space for attacking forays, Palfreyman is a tough midfielder to contain and with Launceston primed for an even bigger 2018, the talented on-baller will play a critical role.

Palfreyman polled 12 votes in the 2017 Alastair Lynch Medal, the most of any Blues player, and with talented utility Dylan Riley and big forward Mitch Thorp making the move from Devonport to Windsor Park, Palfreyman will be part of a Launceston side that on paper, looks as good as any for a chance at a premiership tilt.

Palfreyman, now a leader at the Blues, is a gun, and if he can somehow take his game to another level in 2018, we are all in for a treat.

The Blues will start 2018 with a challenging test against reigning premiers and arch rival North Launceston on Good Friday at UTAS Stadium.

TSL Players To Watch: Ben McGuinness

In anticipation for the start of the 2018 Tasmanian State League season, we take a look at a player from every club that you should keep your eyes on this year. 

Ben McGuinness

Club: Lauderdale Football Club

IC: Solstice Digital

Injuries and Tassie Mariners duties have prevented TSL fans from seeing Ben McGuinness consistently in recent seasons, but after running out 2017 in sizzling form, Lauderdale fans, and Tasmanian footy fans more generally, will be looking forward to seeing the talented utility rip into 2018.

McGuinness has showed plenty of potential as a versatile defender but displayed his capabilities as a key forward during the 2017 finals series, booting four goals and taking several big pack marks in the Bombers’ stunning win over Clarence at Blundstone Arena.

McGuinness adds a genuine X-Factor to this Lauderdale outfit and alongside Ryan Wiggins and Alex Hill will provide the Bombers forward line with great potency, or back six with great stability, depending on the situation at hand.

The talented 19-year-old looks set to play a key role for the southern Bombers in 2018 as Lauderdale prepare to go one step further after making the grand final for the first time last year.

The Bombers will play host to Clarence on Easter Saturday for a mouthwatering opening round fixture.

 

TSL Players To Watch: Rhys Mott

In anticipation for the start of the 2018 Tasmanian State League season, we take a look at a player from every club that you should keep your eyes on this year. 

Rhys Mott

Club: Glenorchy District Football Club

            IC: Solstice Digital & Photography

Glenorchy star Rhys Mott has been a consistent cog in the Magpies set up for several seasons now and will be looking to have a similar impact under new coach Paul Kennedy in 2018.

Mott had a consistent 2017 campaign, further enhancing his reputation as one of the state’s most damaging players.

Mott’s work rate is backed by a lethal kicking ability that provides the Magpies with good use around the ground – whether it be getting out of trouble at half back or driving attacking forays out of the middle.

After being named on the interchange bench in the 2016 TSL Team of the Year, Mott was just as, if not more, impressive across 2017 – landing a place on the Wing in the 2017 Team of the Year, representing the TSL against the NEAFL and finishing equal third with Lauderdale’s Nat Franklin in the Alastair Lynch Medal count on 15 votes.

Plenty of attention was placed on Mott across 2017 but his work rate and class with ball in hand makes him a difficult proposition to contain, particularly in a side boasting the likes of Brayden Webb, Zac Webster, Jaye Bowden and others.

The Magpies have the bye in round one, kicking off 2018 with a home game against Launceston in round two.

TSL Players To Watch: James Holmes

In anticipation for the start of the 2018 Tasmanian State League season, we take a look at a player from every club that you should keep your eyes on this year. 

 

James Holmes

Club: Clarence

Age: 20

Clarence defender James Holmes entered the 2017 season as an unknown quantity to many, but finished as one of the Tasmanian State League’s brightest stars.

The gutsy 20-year-old made his debut in round two of last season and immediately settled into the side, so much so that he earned a starting berth in the TSL Team of the Year – despite only being a first-year TSL player.

                                              IC: Solstice Digital

Holmes played with dare and courage throughout his maiden TSL campaign to take out the prestigious Matthew Richardson Medal as the TSL Rookie of the Year.

 

Holmes has a knack for winning the football, at times putting himself in precarious positions that displayed no regard for his own safety and total commitment to his side’s cause.

Holmes uses the ball well and has the capacity to lock down a variety of opponent types while also generating attack out of the back half.

Holmes’ efforts as a defender were made all the more remarkable considering he had spent much of his previous football at the Mercury Cup level as a forward.

The multi-dimensional quality of Holmes as a player makes him an integral component of a team boasting the likes of high-profile midfielders Jackson O’Brien and Brady Jones and established defender Jason Bailey among others.

Holmes has been involved with Clarence since Auskick and his determined approach to football has seen him earmarked as a future leader of the club by coach Jeromey Webberley.

Webberley will be hoping for the same determination and fearlessness out of Holmes again as the Clarence young gun looks to take his game to another level in 2018.

Clarence’s 2018 campaign will kick off with a tantalising Eastern Shore Derby at Lauderdale Oval against the Bombers on Saturday 31 March.

Will Lauderdale Go One Step Further In 2018?

Lauderdale thrilled with an exciting brand of football in 2017 before falling at the final hurdle. Will the southern Bombers go one step further in 2018? 

TSL Inception: 2009

TSL Premierships: 0

Nickname: Bombers

Home Ground: Lauderdale Oval

Guernsey Colours: Red and Black

Club President: Julie Kay

Head Coach: Darren Winter

Assistant Coach: Clint Brown

Captain: Bryce Walsh

Biggest rival: Clarence

Key Fixtures:

Round 1 v Clarence at Lauderdale Oval, Round 2 v Glenorchy at KGV, Round 3 v Launceston at Windsor Park, Round 7 v North Launceston at UTAS Stadium, Round 15 v Clarence at Blundstone Arena

 

2017 Re-Cap:

Josh McGuinness was among the Bombers’ best in 2017. IC: Solstice Digital

The 2017 TSL season proved to be Lauderdale’s most successful yet, appearing in the grand final for the very first time.

The Bombers rebounded in emphatic fashion after losing their opening three matches for the season to win six in a row – including a thrilling one-point win over premiership favourite North Launceston at UTAS Stadium.

The Bombers lost their next match to Clarence at Lauderdale Oval but went on to win their next seven matches before again falling to Clarence in round 20 – this time at Blundstone Arena.

Lauderdale had the bye in the final round before defeating the Roos for the first time in 2017 with a scintillating 47-point win in the Qualifying Final.

Lauderdale were well and truly outplayed by North Launceston in the Semi-Final but managed to overcome Launceston by 24 points in the Preliminary Final to book a place in the TSL Grand Final for the very first time.

The Grand Final was a fiery affair with tempers boiling over as the Northern Bombers emerged 87-point winners.

Although Lauderdale would be disappointed by this result, the season was overall a huge success and gives every indication that they will once again be a force to be reckoned with in 2018.

Lauderdale’s impressive campaign was rewarded with Josh McGuinness (CHB), Nat Franklin (W), Thor Boscott (HFF) and Dylan Fyfe (INT) all named in the TSL Team of the Year.

 

2018 Season: 

Key Ins: Tim Mosquito (Waratah FC – NT), Kim Kantilla (Waratah FC – NT), Henry Kerinaiua (Waratah FC – NT)

Key Outs: Dylan Fyfe (Southport Sharks – NEAFL), Max Kleverkamp (Victoria)

 

Coach Darren Winter will miss the opening six rounds of the season through suspension but the Bombers are confident things will run smoothly with assistant Clint Brown taking the match-day reins for the start of 2018.

“We co-coached last year so nothing has really changed in that aspect the only thing will be that I will be doing the pregame meetings like Windy usually did. On game day I would usually have the headset on anyway so not a lot will be different,” Brown said.

Brown is confident his side will bounce back after the disappointment of last year’s fiery grand final defeat at the hands of North Launceston.

“We have tried to put last year’s grand final behind us. It was a good experience for everybody and with the new personnel we have in the team and the young guys pushing into the senior squad we are focusing on a new group and looking forward to the season at hand,” he said.

Key defender Josh McGuinness agrees, insisting the team is focused on moving forward.

   Bryce Walsh looks set for a big 2018. IC: Solstice Digital

“Obviously we are a bit disappointed with the grand final when you can sit back and reflect on it.

“We have reviewed it, learned from it and moved past it – our focus is on this year and if we are in that situation again in September we now know how we can act if we are challenged,” McGuinness said.

McGuinness is confident his captain, Bryce Walsh, will step up to another level in 2018, even with star midfielder Dylan Fyfe moving to Southport in the NEAFL.

“Fyfey was a big asset last season and we will need to have some guys step up to fill that void.

“Walshy has had a big preseason and he will slot right back into the midfield after playing a bit of half forward last year. He is moving around the ground really well,” McGuinness said.

Max Kleverkamp, who has returned to Victoria, will also leave a void for the Bombers in 2018.

“Maxy played a role for us down back, but we have had a few boys coming down from the NT in Tim Mosquito, Kim Kantilla and Henry Kerinaiua that play that half-back role so hopefully they are a like for like and play Maxy’s role this year,” McGuinness said.

Even with the losses of Fyfe and Kleverkamp it is clear the Bombers have genuine stars right across the park with the likes of Thor Boscott, Ryan Wiggins, Nat Franklin and emerging guns Mitch Anderton and Ben McGuinness all likely to play crucial roles.

With star power, emerging youngsters, an exciting brand of football and a point to prove, expect Lauderdale to once again feature at the business end of the season.