The Whitehorse Pioneers enter 2017 off the back of a 2016 which produced six wins and a number of tight finishes.
The Pioneers took it up to both grand finalists last season, pushing Forest Hill to 12 points in Round 9 and premier Ferntree Gully to six points in Round 16.
On the flip-side, Whitehorse managed memorable victories over two of the competition’s finalists, prevailing over Glen Waverley Hawks by 33 points in Round 6 and Donvale by 13 points in Round 10.
2016: Six wins, 12 losses, 7th.
President – Steve Berryman
Senior Coach – Derek Shaw
Senior Captain – Maverick Gleed
Promising signs from the Whitehorse Pioneers in 2016 has president Steve Berryman excited for the upcoming season. Berryman spoke to EFL.org.au ahead of Round 1…
What is the club’s ethos/focus in season 2017?
Focus of 2017 is to build on what is already a strong family-orientated club and play finals football. Success on and off the field is important.
What has the pre-season been like so far for the club? Is there any group that has really impressed (younger players, veterans, new recruits, etc.)?
Dynamics have been good with the return of many previous players who have integrated well with the group. Development of younger up and coming players and under-19s is looking strong in 2017.
Off the field has there been any changes to the structure of the club? And how are you situated heading into the 2017 season?
2017 has bought a new president to the Pioneers as well as a new fresh committee and other positions changes within the committee. The changes have given us a well planned 2017 season.
If you could take one thing you learnt from the 2016 season to improve this year, what would it be?
Development of younger players and support of the under-19s early so integration and club culture is a strong and giving us a positive focus on building a strong club.
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?
Matt McCormack, Noah Khan and Charlie Thorn.
Where does the club see itself in three years’ time?
Playing finals in Division 3 and having a successful club off the field.
Finally, who in your division do you feel is the greatest threat to your chances of success in 2017 and why?
With all clubs have recruited in 2017 so it will be a new Division 4 and all games need to be treated with the same importance.