The first ever AFL Outer East season is creeping ever closer and as anticipation builds we’ll be taking a closer look at each and every club in our newly formed home.
Intensity. That’s the key ingredient the Alexandra Rebels will look to add in season 2019, as they look to shake the elimination final monkey off their back once and for all.
The Rebels finished the Home and Away season in fifth last season to see the compete in their third straight finals series. Each time they’ve been eliminated in the first round of the finals series. In 2016 they went down to Yea by 62 points, 2017 saw them lose to eventual preliminary finalist Powelltown by 18 points and last season they fell 20 points short of Gembrook-Cockatoo.
This off-season the Rebels have had good numbers at training across the whole club with players returning to the club from multiple locations, including overseas. The Under 18’s however will still be a ‘week to week proposition’.
However the new recruits and returning players won’t be the reason the Rebels will make the next step, it’ll be the new-found drive amongst the playing group.
“A few of the boys have been around for a few years and they’ve realised that there is plenty of potential around if we can lift our intensity,”
“In recent years these blokes haven’t been putting their hands up in regard to effort, but they’re now stepping up and have decided they’re going to give it a crack.”
Along with this new-found drive, Kidd will look to change the Rebels game style as well which he feels currently lacks the pressure and patience to win finals football.
“At times last season we were a bit impatient with the ball and would give it away easily and in dangerous areas.”
So far, the Rebels have only played one practice match against the Eastern Football League Division Four premier Whitehorse Pioneers. Kidd was happy with the hit-out “which provided his side a good test and a bit of a reality check’’.
The Rebels will have plenty of time to use that reality check however, with the fixture giving them the Round One bye, followed by the Easter break – meaning Kidd and his troops won’t play competitively until the 27th of April.
“It’s just the way the fixture is, it was always going to happen to someone,”
“I don’t want to burn the boys out just yet, so we haven’t been getting to hyped up about the season at the moment.”
It’ll be the same for the Netballers out at Alexandra, who will be itching to get back out on the court after a reasonably successful 2018 campaign. The Rebels C and D Grade outfits finished in the top five, but both were eliminated in the semi-final. They’ll be hoping a number of those players are able to step up into the A and B Grade sides, who finished 7th and 6th on the table respectively.
If the Netballers and Footballers are both humming along nicely Alexandra will be a great place to be around. Although Kidd is adamant it is already one of the best clubs to be a part of.
“For me it’s all I know, a family orientated club where kids love going,”
“The proof if is in the pudding – we’ve always got players who keep coming back to play here.”
Alexandra will host Thornton Eildon in Round Two of the ATC Traffic Division Two season after the Bye in Round One.