Bendigo Pioneers are set to be a harder running and more entertaining team this year if new coach Brett Henderson has anything to say about it.
The new Pioneers Under 18s coach has taken over the role from David Newett after the latter had three years in the role.
Henderson’s coaching resume includes a premiership as senior coach at Echuca and a few years as a development coach at Williamstown in the Victorian Football League.
While Henderson did not want to pencil the Pioneers into a particular ladder position, he was excited about the year ahead.
“It’s a good mix of top age players and bottom age players,” he said.
“I think we have got some good ball winners and running players, but we’re also deficient in some areas such as height.
“We’re really positive with how the team have been training.”
The Bendigo Pioneers have not played finals since ??? but Henderson said they would not be measured on finishing positions.
“It’s all about effort,” he said.
“We want 100 per cent effort and if we are competitive, we will put ourselves in a position to win games.”
While the side looks offensively stronger compared to past years and with some strong midfielders in teh middle, Henderson said his philosophy was not just attack.
“We can’t focus just on attack,” he said.
“We need to attack and defend well. We also want to be an exciting side that people want to watch.”
Much has been spoken about Bendigo’s two AIS members in Tom Cole and Aidyn Johnson, but Henderson named Sam Simmonds, Bailey Edwards and Lachy K? as plaers who have trained strongly over the pre-season and have the potential to take their games to another level.
While Henderson concedes the preseason has been as long as it has been hard for the players, he was excited to kick off the 2015 TAC Cup season next weekend.
“We are in a good position for this season and we’re ready to kick off against the Bushies (Murray Bushrangers) at Benalla,” he said.
“We think we’ll be suited to Benalla and we’re looking forward to it.”