Kilsyth will embark on its 2017 campaign under new senior coach Paul Newlands, who joins the Cougars from Croydon.
After playing off in a grand final in 2015, Kilsyth provided its opposition plenty of headaches again last season, producing 10 wins but missing the finals by two games, finishing fifth.
The Cougars lost three matches by under a goal (a combined total of 13 points), including running eventual premier Ferntree Gully to within four points in Round 10 and grand finalist Forest Hill to five points in Round 6. Arguably the club’s most rousing win came in Round 9, when it defeated finalist Glen Waverley Hawks in a thriller by six points at Pinks Reserve.
Among the new names donning the red and black in 2017 include Heath Williams (Yarra Old Grammarians), Luke Perryman (Fairpark/Eastern Lions), Adrian Grylls (Foster), Cameron Vanflorenstein (Croydon), Eddie Molesworth (Heathmont), Matthew Lennon (Coldstream) and Matthew Dobson (Oakleigh Districts).
Kilsyth faces off with Surrey Park in Round 1 at Surrey Park Reserve, on Saturday, 8th of April.
2016: 10 wins, 12 losses, fifth.
President – Noel Polkinghorne
Senior Coach – Paul Newlands
Senior Captain – Matthew Jackson
Kilsyth senior coach Paul Newlands spoke to EFL.org.au ahead of the Cougars’ 2017 campaign…
What is the club’s ethos/focus in season 2017?
Prepare well and work harder than previous years.
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.)?
We had very good numbers prior to Christmas and then a quiet few weeks into the new year. Plenty on the track now with our under-23 age group leading the way with numbers.
Off the field has there been any changes to the structure of the club? And how are you situated heading into the 2017 season?
A bit of a changing of guard on the committee side of things, as well as the appointment of (myself) from Croydon and under-19s coach Matthew Jackson, one of our senior leaders.
If you could take one thing you learnt from the 2016 season to improve this year, what would it be?
Not to lose so many marginal games. We fell short on a lot of occasions last season and hopefully that will change this year.
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?
Cameron McArthur and Sean Currey have had great pre-seasons so far and are destined to have fantastic years.
Where does the club see itself in three years’ time?
Hopefully in a higher division, as well as having a strong under-19s team.
Finally, who in your division do you feel is the greatest threat to your chances of success in 2017 and why?
Forest Hill. They seem to have recruited well over the last few years and had a fantastic home and away and finals series last year.