By Todd Whelan
Bacchus Marsh face the toughest test of all BFNL clubs in their opening three rounds against North Ballarat City (away), Darley (away) and last year’s Grand Finalists Melton (home).
The Cobras outlook for 2019 looks considerably brighter on the back of recent key signings Tom Brownbridge (Irymple, Sunraysia) Jake De Winter and Brodie Easton (Western Magpies, QAFL) following a mass exit of up to nine players from last year.
New Coach Davey refuses to waste any time on the ‘what ifs’, instead opting for the reality of the moment, the now.
Davey brings a fresh voice to a hardened group that has responded well to his demands of an intense ‘running brand’ of football.
Jake Owen (joint captain) and Aaron WIllets will be the keys forward again for the Cobras while De Winter is the unknown quantity – his rap sheet spells danger for any unassuming opposition.
The trip to North Ballarat City will not be easy, it never is. The Cobras will be hoping to reverse a nail-biting loss from their last meet to kickstart their season. Questions will be asked of the Cobras who could well be 0-3 after three rounds if they don’t bring their A-game.
The weight of impact, losing Sherlock, Speight, Angwin, Del Papa, Bolton, Foley, Blundell, Bishop and Trowsdale over the summer will be known very early as the Cobras aim to match it with last year’s 4th, 3rd and 2nd placegetters.
Newcomer Tom Brownbridge, a former interleague representative with Sunraysia will debut for his new club and fill the void in defence left by Trent Angwin who has joined Darley. The mail on ‘Browny’ is overwhelming – he ‘CAN’ play!
The Cobras will be hoping their young guns can take the next step with opportunity at a four-year high.
North City on the other hand have lost the Dunstan brothers and Marcus Darmody. Coach Shane Skontra is excited about his group’s prospects in his second season at the helm and believes they are ready to challenge. again. The club boasts one of the more damaging spines and on-ball brigades in the comp led by spearhead and former Adelaide Crow draftee Will Young – and they will be needing every bit of them on Saturday to combat reigning Henderson Medalist Daniel Burton, Owen, Willets and the new guns on the block.
While the Cobras beat North City at Maddingly Park back in Round 3 last year by 93-points – that feels like a decade ago. The Marsh must start well, and belief within the new group crucial, if they are to be any chance of toppling North City first up on the road.
The draw softens up for the Cobras after Round 3, a win or even two from these will be a bonus come the pointy end of the season.