New plan to set Lak­ers di­rec­tion

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Footy Countdown - BY DEAN LAW­SON

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.

Jack Mcrae

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