AFTER AN entertaining yet challenging 2017 season, the Warrandyte Football Club will head into the summer break with belief that 2018 can bear greater fruit.
Finishing the season in 11th place with three wins, it was decided the senior side needed to take a new direction despite avoiding relegation.
Senior head coach Peter Muscat departed after two seasons at the club, and the Bloods were quick to announce the new man for the job.
Anthony McGregor will be the man to lead Warrandyte into battle for 2018, bringing an impressive portfolio of playing and coaching experience to the position.
McGregor, formally chosen with pick 28 in the draft by Fitzroy, played alongside club greats such as Paul Roos and Alistair Lynch before injuries prevented him from relocating to Brisbane following the famous merger.
Following his playing days, McGregor took the position of head coach at Reservoir, and took a team on the brink of folding into a stable position.
McGregor then coached the Bundoora Football Club reserves, taking them to a grand final, while also assisting in the senior premiership.
With years of experience in the northern football system, McGregor now brings his talents into the EFL, and is excited to take charge.
“I’m really looking forward to it.
“I’ve met Pete Hookey (club president), he’s a fantastic fella and he’s got the club at heart.
“When you have someone at the top who loves it so much, when you’ve got people at the top who do care about the club, once that filters down good things really happen,” McGregor said.
McGregor believes that capitalising on the youth down at the club will be important, and hopes to craft a game plan the youngsters will get behind.
“There’s a great amount of youth, so I think that simplifying the game plan, getting a basic plan we can execute, simplifying rotations et cetera is the way to go.
“Looking from the sideline, I want to get the youngsters to enjoy it a bit more and with that will come success.
“When you start from scratch, to put a win/loss goal on it would be foolish.
“Maybe adding a few bigger bodies will make that turn around quicker, but I think it’s about getting that sense of camaraderie.
“There’s youth on this team who are going to be, hopefully, together for a few years, so the opportunity is there to mould and build a very competitive team,” McGregor said.
On the field, the Bloods played their final game of the season against Scoresby, and while the Seniors fell, the Reserves won a real arm-wrestle to cap off an admirable campaign.
However, the day took on greater significance, as Jake Bentley called time on his Bloods career.
A club stalwart and always a tough competitor, the value of Bentley’s leadership over the past few seasons cannot be underestimated and it’s no doubt he will be sorely missed.
Unfortunately, the senior side were unable to turn the tide after a slow start, remaining goalless to halftime.
Scoresby were able to control the tempo and ran out convincing 47-point winners, 9.15 69 to 3.4 22.
The result left Warrandyte 11th on the EFL ladder on 12 points, ten above East Burwood who finished the season winless.
The Reserves were able to earn a thoroughly deserved win in their season closer, holding off Scoresby to record a 13-point win, 5.7 37 to 3.6 24.
Finishing 6th on the ladder on 32 points after notching eight wins, the reserves were within touching distance of finals and can give themselves a pat on the back after a truly excellent season.
Footballers can now enjoy well deserved rest over the off-season, and gear up for a pre-season which promises much leading into season 2018.