New plan to set Lakers direction
There are plenty of community projects underway across the region and quietly making progress is the Taylors Lake club in Horsham District league.
Last year the Lakers’ senior football team battled on grimly in a wake of a mass exodus of players but endured and is likely to emerge this season with galvanised direction. In fact the club might be on the cusp of turning around its fortunes.
New club president Tammy Mcdonald, with an extensive background in large-scale and pointed project management, said the club’s adoption of a new ‘strategic plan’ would be a prime driver in determining the Lakers’ future.
“The plan moving forward is relatively simple. It’s about rebuilding our numbers in senior football and netball and maintaining and strengthening our junior divisions,” she said.
“We’ve spent the past 12 months developing the strategic plan that covers all aspects of the club and we will be implementing it this year.
“The club is really known for
its community and family spirit and it’s important to get that side of things right.”
Ms Mcdonald, a Lakers life-member whose great grandfather Gus Fischer was one of the founding members of the club, said success came from team efforts.
“What we’re working on is an overall holistic approach, but the main point is that we’re realistic that what we want to happen won’t happen overnight,” she said.
“We need to rebuild our player list and build our reputation.”
Taylors Lake senior footballers recorded only one win and were often on the end of hefty hidings last year.
But the club’s under-17s and under-14s played in the finals.
Jye Smith, back at the senior coaching helm for a second year, said the pre-season build-up had already been more promising than last year.
“We had so many guys leave before the season last year – more than 20 players –– but this year it’s been pretty good,” he said.
“We’ve averaged about 20-odd on the track and while we know the season will again be tough, things are quite positive.
“Taylors Lake first up is trying to get the culture right.
“For us as a club, the first thing is to not worry too much about wins and losses but instead work on the people involved and attitude.
“We have a very young list – there are probably three players around the 30 mark and the rest are in the low 20s or younger, and blokes are still learning how to play the game.
“I said to the club that we were unlikely to step up the ladder quickly – that it would be a slow process – but the big thing for us is that out of everyone playing last year we’ve lost only one player while adding a few newcomers.
“Importantly, we’re looking after our home-grown players first and the first guys we signed up were our under-17 graduates.
“This year they won’t be playing both under-17s and seniors and can concentrate on seniors, which is a massive thing.”
Smith said new faces such as Mitch Burke from Horsham, keen to pursue senior football, and fresh expectations of Brandon Scott, who played a few games last year, and Alex Hill, regaining full fitness, augured well for the club.
Jack Mcrae is again an assistant to Smith and the Lakers are also in discussions with other potential leadership-group recruits.
The Lakers have switched training to 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Dock Lake Reserve.