Doncaster East president Michael Gordon spoke to EFL.org.au ahead of the Lions’ 2017 campaign…
President – Michael Gordon
Senior Coach – Steve Buckle
Senior Captain – Nick Batsanis
What is the club’s ethos/focus in season 2017?
This year sees us and Beverley Hills JFC celebrate our 50th anniversary.
It will be a year where we look back over our history with the intention of reintroducing many past players, officials and supporters to the club.
Whilst we celebrate our history off the field the playing group is committed to make up for the missed opportunity in 2016.
Our focus will be to develop from within to ensure we build a solid base of local talent to put us in a strong position for our tilt at Division 1 football.
What has the pre-season been like so far for the club? Is there any group that have really impressed (younger players, veterans, new recruits, etc.)?
The whole group has been impressive with the way that they’ve presented themselves after what was a pretty tough 2016 season.
The majority of the boys turned up in great condition ready to work hard and atone for last season.
That hard work and work ethic continues to the present day.
Our new recruits have fitted in really well as have all of our under-19s.
We’ve had some older heads return to the club as well to add to the depth and help guide some of these really impressive (under) 19s.
Off the field has there been any changes to the structure of the club? And how are you situated heading into the 2017 season?
The club welcomes four new committee members in Lyndall Rice, Melissa Lee, Julie Martyn and Steve Tankey.
At the same time we acknowledge the years of commitment from Dave Sowersby who has stood down from the committee. Words cannot sufficiently describe Dave’s contribution to the club.
Whilst we will miss his words of wisdom at committee meetings, we know he will still be seen and heard around the club on a regular basis.
If you could take one thing you learnt from the 2016 season to improve this year, what would it be?
Never take anything for granted. After a successful 2015 season, both on and off the field, our 2016 season was disappointing.
In hindsight one successful season does not necessarily guarantee that the following year will be bigger and better.
Who are the players who you think will have a break-out season, who may have gone under the radar in the past as far the being known across the EFL community?
I expect the majority of our list to have significant improvement this season as we look to strive for more consistency and peg back some ground that we lost in 2016.
We have an impressive group of under-19s and expect a few of those boys to play senior football.
I also believe that our 50 to 100 game players will continue their development and growth as they become more comfortable with the rigors and expectations of a senior footballer.
Where does the club see itself in three years’ time?
Whilst we understand the challenge, we have been, and will continue to work toward being a successful Division 1 team. Nothing less will be acceptable.
Finally, who in your division do you feel is the greatest threat to your chances of success in 2017 and why?
It’s safe to say that Division 2 is widely regarded as the most competitive division among the four in our league. Any team has always had the ability to beat another team on any given day, no matter the ladder position.
It’s for this reason that everyone is a threat to us and what we’re looking to achieve in 2017, as I also expect all teams would have the same goals as us and that’s to win the 2017 premiership in Division 2.
We’ll be striving to bring our ‘A-game’ every week and focus on ourselves.
Doncaster East kicks off its season on Saturday, 8th of April, when it takes on Croydon at Croydon Oval.