By Callum Ludwig
A revamped Warburton-Millgrove senior football side are looking to match the success of their reserves and netball counterparts this season.
The Burras senior football side finished sixth in Division Two last season, managing three wins from ten games.
New club president Steve Noonan said the netball side is looking to continue their strong run of consistent form while the senior footy side is in a position to set themselves up to do the same.
“The netballers are looking to maintain the high level of achievement they’ve displayed over a long period of time, we’ve got 41 players registered so it’s really strong with lots of depth and lots of experience and talent even in the coaching side of things,” he said.
“In the footy, we’ve recruited very well, in the practice matches they kept running all the four quarters out and we’re optimistic we’re going to turn the corner from previous years where we’ve been very ordinary.”
Former player James Iacono has made a return to the side, taking the senior football coaching reins. In netball, Natalia Petrucev will take charge of the A and B Grade sides, while Selina Fotia and Leah Ashton will coach the C and D grade sides respectively.
Noonan said there is an excited atmosphere around the club, from players and supporters alike, who are looking forward to the return of community sport.
“There’s definitely anticipation, we are wanting to compete after a shortened season last year having effectively not played any footy or netball since July last year,” he said.
“Speaking to some of the players, there’s an anticipation and excitement to be back out pulling on the club colours.”
Warburton-Millgrove has played two practice matches as part of their preseason preparation, putting in strong displays against Chirnside Park and West Brunswick.
The Burras have loaded up on the transfer market this season with the likes of Brady Mitchell, Brayden Woolridge, Mitch Gordon, Jack Farrugia (whose Dad won a league best and fairest at Warburton-Millgrove in 2005) and Mitch Bonuda joining the football teams while Shae Gee and Ashlyn Elliott join the A Grade netball side.
“We’ve got a greater depth of playing stocks of local players. We are hopeful that the side we put out at senior level is the best we can put out and that they’re more than worthy of pulling on the jumper,” Noonan said.
“We’ve also got an U18 football side and an U17 netball side for the first time in a long time, giving us a good young stream of future players for the club,”
The Burras take on Alexandra whose senior football side finished third in last year’s shortened competition. It will also mark the 200th games of full back Shawn Andueza and netballer Bianca Daniels.