Bell rings out hope for 2018
HEATHCOTE Football Club coach Luke Bell is confident his side is on the right track as the club aims to play finals for the first time since 2013.
“The feeling around the club has been really good, some really good numbers at training compared to last year,” Bell said.
Last season the Saints finished seventh — six wins from the top four. However, Bell believes some handy recruits over the off-season could lead Heathcote back up the ladder.
“We have landed Damien King and Daniel Russell,’’ he said.
‘‘They will both play a bit of ruck and a bit of forward and give us those big options to kick to.
“Daniel has played the last few years at the Northern Territory Thunder in the NEAFL, and has improved his game up there so that’s a big get for us.”
As well as King and Russell, the Saints will regain midfielders David Anderson, Blake Coyle and Marc Millard – who all suffered respective knee injuries last season.
Anderson spent 2016 with Rochester in the Goulburn Valley League, where he suffered his knee injury in the grand final against Kyabram.
Coyle is linking back up with the Saints after time with Golden Square in Bendigo and Millard will be looking to find the type of form that saw him win the Saint’s 2016 best and fairest before his knee injury ruled him out of 2017.
The Saints held their pre-season training camp over the weekend at Barrack Reserve and had particular focus on one element of their game.
“Our fitness wasn’t up to scratch last year, we couldn’t really run out games and play full games of footy or go with the top teams so that is something we have tried to get back on track this year,” Bell said.
“The camp was really good. It was pretty tough and demanding but all our boys would’ve got something out of it.
“We were up at 3am doing some heavy lifting some sit ups and pushups and some other bonding exercises as well.
“We also did some mental training about overcoming adversity on the footy field and in life generally too.”
Heathcote will play three practice matches, and have a bye in round 1 before its first match against Colbinabbin at Pigeon Park on April 14. A TOTAL of 79 men and 18 ladies played a stableford event at the Axedale Golf Club on Saturday, sponsored by Bendigo Party Hire. Men’s event In first division for players with handicaps of 0-14, the winner was John White (12 h/c, 43 nett).
The runner-up was Andrew Schaeche (10 h/c, 42 nett).
Third place went to Grant Lane (9 h/c, 40 nett).
In division two for players with handicaps of 15-18, the winner was Mark Pittock (16 h/c, 44 nett).
John McCullagh (18 h/c, 41 nett) finished runner-up, while David Baillie (16 h/c, 41 nett) took out third place.
In division three for players with handicaps of 19-36, the winner was Peter Stewart (20 h/c, 43 nett).
The runner-up was Greg Henderson (20 h/c, 42 nett) on a countback from Ian Edwards (25 h/c, 42 nett). Ball winners: Warren Pollock (39), Lee McCullagh (39), Craig Simpson (39), Lex Johnstone (39), Ryan Fitzpatrick (38) and Ian Kerr (38) on a countback. Ladies event In first division of the ladies, the winner was Linda Andrea (4 h/c, 37 nett). The runner-up was Jan Walklate (16 h/c, 36 nett).
In division two of the ladies, the winner was Margaret Kerr (33 h/c, 38 nett), while Anne Telford finished runner-up (28 h/c, 35 nett). Nearest the pins: 1st hole — division one: Brett Moore; division two: Paul O’Sullivan.
3rd hole, 2nd shot — division one: John Neylon; division two: Paul OSullivan.
6th hole — open: Anne Telford.
16th hole — entries Superpin: Craig Simpson.
18th hole — division one: Paul Pyke; division two: Ian Edwards. Other highlights: Hole-in-one Anne Telford (6th). Birdie ball: Paul Pyke (18th). Summer Cup winner: Warren Pollock 116, from Paul Pyke 114, Robin Miller 113.
A GROUP of 49 men played a stableford event at the Axedale Golf Club on Thursday, February 8, sponsored by Paul Powell Professional Golf Tuition.
In first division for players with handicaps of 0-18, the winner was Peter Hoskin (8 h/c, 40 pts) on a countback from Rod Connelly (13 h/c, 40 pts). Third place went to Nickholas Williamson (18 h/c, 39 pts).
In division two for players with handicaps of 19-36, the winner was Peter Thomas (21 h/c, 42 pts) on a countback from Mark Kesper (25 h/c, 42 pts), while John Murdoch (22 h/c, 41 pts) took out third place on a countback.
Ball winners: Paul Duncan and Phillip Luke (41), John Geldart (39); and Len Rodda, Robin Miller and Ian Logan (37) on a countback.
Nearest the pins: 1st hole — division one: Mike Fitzgerald; division two: Peter Thomas.
3rd hole, 2nd shot — division one: Peter Richardson; division two: Malcolm Bain. 6th hole — open: Paul Pyke. 18th hole — division one: Mike Fitzgerald; division two: John Murdoch.
Longest drive: Peter Richardson. Longest putt: Rod Threlfall. Encouragement award: Division one: John Taylor. Division two: Geoff Kerr.