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
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
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
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.
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.
“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.