Saturday’s Round two clash between 2016 Premiers Glenorchy and 2017 Grand Finalists Lauderdale was the birth of a new era under new Magpies coach Paul Kennedy, and as TSL Digital Media Reporter Ryan Rosendale writes, it could become just as successful as the last.
For a side that only won a flag two seasons ago, there was a lot of unknown surrounding Glenorchy heading into the 2018 Bupa TSL season.
After losing a raft of premiership players along with their coach Aaron Cornelius to the NEAFL, many outsiders weren’t sure what the Magpies would bring in 2018 under new coach Paul Kennedy.
Yet after their 81-point domination of last year’s grand finalists in Lauderdale this past Saturday at KGV, any question-marks as to just how good Glenorchy could be this season have surely been put to rest.
After the visitors were the talk of round one with Captain Bryce Walsh going down with a leg injury and young gun Jordon Roberts receiving a suspension that would eventually cause his de-registration, many expected the Bombers to come out firing against the 2016 premiers.
It was Glenorchy, however, that raced out of the blocks, kicking seven goals to one in the first quarter before piling on another 15 majors to run out winners 22.15 (147) to 8.12 (60).
It was a performance Kennedy expected his side to be able to to put together.
“We just did the things I thought we were capable of,” Kennedy said post-match.
“Throughout pre-season you get an expectation of your players and the team and mine is really high for this group because they’re a good bunch of blokes that work really hard, they pick things up quickly and they expect high standards of themselves.”
While regular performers Rhys Mott, Brayden Webb and Jaye Bowden were all among the best players, the match was highlighted by the younger brigade of Mitch Walker, Jye Bearman and Callen Daly, along with the returning Daniel Joseph, all of whom provided plenty of excitement throughout the day.
“We had two debutants in Jye Bearman and Adam Roberts today who did an excellent job as small forwards and Cal Daly as a midfielder and forward wherever he was (positioned on the ground).”
“The youth is necessary because we can’t hang onto what’s just happened. We are lucky to still have some pieces in place (from the grand final years in 2015 and ‘16) but we’ve got to use that to bring the young guys through,” Kennedy said.
“They bring speed which is essential and you saw the way the boys got around them when they did something good so it just brings another level of excitement to the group.”
While Kennedy was overall impressed by the display his side put together, he said there were still plenty of areas to improve on before facing North Launceston this Saturday.
“I’m big on the players being able to make the right reads on the ground and for a large part of today we were really good in that area but at times we slipped away from that and if we do that against North Launceston they will make us pay.”
While some may see facing last year’s two grand finalists in their opening two games a daunting task, Kennedy relishes at the chance to see just exactly where his team is at so early in the season.
“When I saw the fixture I was delighted and it allows you to give some pretty instant feedback to your group.”
“We don’t rest on this victory because we have to be better against North Launceston and throughout the year and I’m confident this group will do the work (to achieve that).”
Saturday’s match between North Launceston and Glenorchy kicks off at 2:00pm from UTAS Stadium.