New-look Kees on the improve
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.