GSFLW Season Spotlight - Encounter Bay
Finishing with two wins and five losses, there is plenty of potential improvement for the Bays.
Finished - Sixth
Record - Two wins and five losses (minor round)
MWM GSFLW Team of the Year - Achol Agany
The Encounter Bay Eagles didn't have a memorable 2020 premiership campaign, as the gold and blue recorded several one-sided results throughout the season. However, their run home was much better, winning two of their final four matches to snatch sixth spot.
The Eagles first win came against rival Victor Harbor--which, behind the Grand Final, would be the game you would want to win the most. Yet what made this more memorable was the fashion in which they won, with the Eagles claiming a 12.15 (87) to 2.1 (13) win.
The only other Eagles' win of 2020 came in Round Six, when the gold and blue managed to boot two second-half goals to narrowly get over Yankalilla, 2.5 (17) to 2.2 (14).
Unfortunately, due to a lack of numbers the Eagles are without an U17s side this season--which for clubs like Willunga, is perhaps their strongest asset. Yet the Eagles are still being optimistic, and may be able to build the framework of a much more completive side during 2021 and beyond.
What Head Coach Jaime Lang has to Say:
How is the side looking for the new season?
"The side is looking good for the new season, we have unfortunately lost a few of our good players from last year for different reasons, but have picked up some new players that look promising, some that have played before, and some that haven’t, but have picked it up quickly. The team as a whole took some steps forward last season and we’re looking to build on that again in season 2021."
"Our girls have developed a great team spirit and feeling amongst the team, and it’s a great team to be a part of."
What would you say is going to be the biggest challenge of 2021?
"Our biggest challenge of 2021 is definitely going to be our numbers, and consistency through the season. Although we have good numbers on our list, a number of them can’t play all games due to work and other commitments, so that will definitely have an impact and be a challenge for us, to be consistent on the field, without having the same consistent team every week. And also unfortunately we are not fielding an under 17’s side this season, due to a lack of numbers."
What are you looking to build on from the previous season?
"Over the pre season I have been looking to improve our skill level and fitness level. Which is definitely hard, when you don’t consistently get high numbers out at training. Aside from that, last season, although we didn’t win a lot of games, I was impressed with our girls endeavor and hardness at the ball. So I definitely want to build on that through the coming season."
"Also our team work, our girls are prepared to work for each other which is great to see, and they don’t give up, no matter what the situation. So they are things that I’m defining keen to continue with, and build on for this season."
Which players have impressed you the most during preseason?
"Over our pre season I have been impressed by most of our players, it’s hard to single any out, but Mimi Allain always gives 110% at training, she goes hard and her voice is great, she has definitely been a great addition and asset to our team since joining our club at the start of last season."
"Kate Sanders always impresses at training, her leadership, endeavor, commitment, her desire to continually improve, and improve as a team, and her encouragement of her team mates is second to none. She always gives everything at training and during games, and this is why she has been selected as our captain for 2021."
"Delia Althorp has also impressed, she is so committed to the team and the club, always puts in hard at training, and she has definitely started to use her voice a lot more and encourage her teammates. These attributes are part of the reason she has been selected as our Vice Captain for the coming season."
"Jemima Althorp is one of our younger players that would be playing under 17’s if we had a team, but will instead be playing opens, and this is definitely her best pre season by far. She has worked on her skills hard, and it is really paying off for her, she has found her voice, and always does everything at full speed."
"Sherrie Hurrell also has impressed as she always does. Sorry, I could probably go on and list everyone, but I’ll leave it at that."
Player wise, who do you think will be the major improvers of 2021?
"I think a couple of our players that we will see improvement from this season, both had great seasons last year, but both look set to take their games up a level. Tess Huxtable had a good first season for us last year, playing opens as well as under 16’s. She would still qualify for under 17’s if we had a team in that comp, but I’m excited to see what she brings to our side."
"She has spent the pre season training with South Adelaide’s SANFLW side, and has been selected in their final squad, so we may not have her for all games, but she will be a strong contributor when we are lucky enough to have her. She works hard at training, on her fitness, and her skills, and she has made massive improvements in all areas of her game. She has a great fitness level, takes a really nice mark in her hands, and can kick the ball really well.
"Another improver will be Sherrie Hurrell, she had a great season last season, but only returned to us half way through the season last year, after being away for study, I think this season with a solid pre season under her belt, she is set to take her game to a whole new level. She again is a player with a great set of hands, takes some great marks for us, and has done a good pre season, working on all areas of her game."
Which new players to the side do you think are worth keeping an eye on?
"A couple new players to our team worth watching would definitely be Amber Grahame, and Tayla Bray. Amber hasn’t played before, but has some great skills from kicking the footy around with her brothers. She definitely looks like an exciting prospect, she has a long accurate kick, and reads the play well."
"Tayla comes to us from Adelaide, and has played a bit up there before moving down here recently. From what we’ve seen of her at training, she has really strong hands, and can take a strong competitive mark, and has a nice long kick. I think she’ll be a big asset to our forward line."
What are you looking forward to the most this season?
"As a coach, I’m looking forward to watching this group of girls build on what we started last season, building on the team spirit they have, the work ethic they show, the endeavor they show on the field, and the commitment they have for each other and the team."
"And as we build that, hopefully converting that to some on field success. If this team can stick together over the coming seasons, I really believe they will have a period of some real success."
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Special Thanks to the Head Coach and the GSFLW for the opportunity to collaborate.