New-look Kees on the im­prove

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

Speed, skill and fit­ness – it’s a sim­ple enough equa­tion but that’s the for­mula that seems to be tak­ing shape for a new-look Kal­kee pre­par­ing for the 2018 Hor­sham District league sea­son.

New joint coach Stu­art Farr, shar­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties with Hamish Ex­ell this year, said the plan was for the Kees to play an ‘ex­cit­ing and fast’ brand of foot­ball and to ‘hit the score­board hard’. “There is ex­cite­ment and mo­men­tum around the club, which is great and we have plenty of tal­ented and com­mit­ted play­ers,” he said.

“We’re not go­ing to be that tall so the hope is to ap­ply pres­sure at the con­test and to run op­po­si­tion teams off their legs.”

Farr, one of the most suc­cess­ful and highly dec­o­rated coaches in the re­gion, said two years away from the game had been the break he had needed and he had found his job with the Kees re­fresh­ing.

“I’m feel­ing re­ju­ve­nated and love it,” he said.

“Be­ing in a joint po­si­tion with Hamish is great – we have very sim­i­lar philoso­phies and no con­flict­ing mes­sages and I’m re­ally happy with how it’s go­ing.”

Farr is renowned for push­ing his teams

through rigid fit­ness regimes and there seems lit­tle doubt Kal­kee will ex­cel in this depart­ment this sea­son.

“We want to win the ball at the coal­face,” he said.

“The greater the abil­ity to stay in the con­test, the greater the chance to win the ball – it’s pretty sim­ple re­ally.”

Non-play­ing Farr and on-field leader Ex­ell will have the ben­e­fit of an in­jec­tion of about 10 new or re­turn­ing play­ers and many are recog­nised as some of the best play­ers in the district.

While Farr has some con­cerns about height, he has key-po­si­tion for­ward Lachie Ex­ell re­turn­ing to the Kees from Dim­boola.

Jay­den Kuhne, Mitch De­lahunty and Alex Smith are also on the in­com­ing list and head­lin­ing the group is re­turn­ing Si­mon Hobbs, sure to add crit­i­cal oomph to help Ex­ell in the mid­dle.

Farr added the Kees were far from done in adding to their play­ing list with an­other ‘two or three’ qual­ity play­ers still in the ne­go­ti­a­tion mix.

“This all helps in ap­ply­ing healthy pres­sure to se­nior se­lec­tion,” he said.

Kal­kee pres­i­dent Heath Martin, mean­while, said over­all Kal­kee was ‘trav­el­ling quite well’.

“Se­nior num­bers on the track have been good and train­ing very solid,” he said.

“There is a pos­i­tive vibe around the club and we ex­pect a good start to the sea­son.”

Mr Martin said a pri­mary push was to build on club par­tic­i­pa­tion lev­els.

“With­out num­bers you don’t have a club,” he said.

“We aim to make the fi­nals this year and at the same time see the com­pe­ti­tion be­ing very strong.”

Kal­kee con­tin­ues to have strong fi­nan­cial back­ing with Mr Martin ap­plaud­ing long­time ma­jor spon­sors Hor­sham’s Vic­to­ria Ho­tel and Bent­ley Group.

Kal­kee rates as an his­tor­i­cal Hor­sham District league pow­er­house, but has un­der­gone re­struc­tur­ing and re­build­ing in the past cou­ple of years.

Junior num­bers con­tinue to be a frus­tra­tion for the club, which fin­ished eighth with six wins last sea­son.

The Kees are train­ing three times a week, with full ses­sions on Tues­day and Thurs­day nights and an ex­tra run on Satur­day morn­ings.

Jace Mon­aghan

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