14 DAYS TO GO | EFL Media will be previewing each club ahead of the 2019 season with the #InFocus2019 series, all thanks to Yarra Valley Water & Choose Tap.
By: Tash Gunawardana
FERNTREE GULLY has added a wealth of experience ahead of its 2019 campaign as the club looks to return to finals.
The Eagles competed in Division 3 last season and finished ninth on the ladder with five wins and 13 losses.
The club will form the new Division 3 competition this season and will feature in night fixtures twice at home in the opening three rounds.
Headlining the recruits at the Eagles this off-season is the addition of 2017 Perc James medallist and ex-Kilsyth captain Sean Currey, alongside 2016 Bayswater premiership player, Jess Moore.
Moore last played for Ferntree Gully in 2011, having been named in multiple teams of the year across divisions 2-4.
Big-bodied midfielder Dave Eddy also joins the club from Bayswater, while ruckman Daniel De Ieso has returned from Scoresby, bringing over 250 games’ experience, along with Michael Russo and Hayden Lovat (Kilsyth). Meanwhile, Luke Allison has crossed over from Park Orchards.
Departing the club is Jared Lepore (Knox) and Nicholas Hallo (The Basin), while 21-year-old Lachie Kennedy has linked up with Premier Division club Norwood after 61 games with the Eagles across four seasons. 2018 club captain Jye Goodman has retired.
The club’s leadership group is yet to be finalised as it looks to improve on its ninth-placed finish to 2018.
“We have put a lot of focus into our fitness and we have made some tweaks to our game style,” senior coach Peter Farrell said.
“Michael Topp will be our captain for season 2019 along with two leaders who don’t have titles at this stage, but Chris Waldron and Sam Crocker.”
Farrell also highlighted former club juniors Jye Dulieu and Jake Harper as among those he expected to have seasons to watch.
Dulieu played eight senior matches last season, while Harper appeared four times, with notable performances coming against South Belgrave and Boronia in rounds 14 and 15, finishing among the best.
The senior coach has his sights set on finals after a two-year hiatus.
“We want to play finals footy and yes we all want to win a grand final don’t we – that’s our ultimate goal,” Farrell said.
“Inevitably we just want to play finals footy first and to make sure we are in the finals.”
Ferntree Gully will also field a team in the Deakin University Eastern Region Women’s competition this season.
Ferntree Gully hosts South Belgrave in a Round 1 night match on Saturday, April 6, with the women’s fixture to be released at a later date.