WKFL reigning premiers give their insight into the upcoming season
With just over a week before the start of the 2022 competition the Cable Beach Greenbacks — the reigning premiers for both the women’s and men’s leagues — have spoken to the Advertiser about the upcoming WKFL season.
Last year, the Cable Beach men’s team beat the Derby Tigers 16.7 (103) to 8.7 (55) and the Cable Beach women’s team beat the Looma Eagles 7.4 (46) to 3.9 (27) in the grand final, with the men’s team winning the last two premierships in a row.
Cable Beach Greenbacks men’s head coach Shaun Benswani said he hopes Cable Beach can win again this year and make a hat-trick of premierships for the team.
“Everyone is keen for the third repeat which Cable Beach hasn’t done yet.”
But with runners-up the Derby Tigers shoring up numbers on the training field as well, Benswani said the team would have to keep pushing hard.
“Derby’s got a few numbers as well as the Bulls and Saints who have a few blokes on the training track, so it will be interesting to see how they’re travelling,” he said.
But finding players has been a struggle this year, according to Benswani, due to COVID-19 spreading throughout the Kimberley and Broome.
“Nearly all the teams are struggling, last year we were averaging 12 blokes for training and this year is pretty much the same,” he said.
“We’ve got about 14 to 15 blokes on the track with only two weeks left before the competition.
“But we’ve got a fair few under-18s players who are very keen so we’re going to probably run a few of them through the throughout the year and see how they go and see if they’re keen to keep playing or not.”
Benswani says there is one particular young player that he will be keeping his eye on in the upcoming season.
“Christopher ‘CJ’ Oakley came runner-up in our best and fairest last season and he hasn’t missed a beat this year and has been to every training session so he really wants to chase it so I’m pretty interested in how he goes this year,” he said.
“He’s a great player, but with a full pre-season of training I think he’s going to be even better.”
Cable Beach Greenbacks women’s head coach Mick Albert said it was good to get back into footy last year following the cancelled season in 2020 due to COVID.
“We were very pleased with the teams last year, it’s always good to finish up with both the men and the women winning,” he said.
“It would be good to finish on top again.”
With COVID spreading throughout the Kimberley now restrictions have been eased, Albert also said it was been increasingly hard to fill the team.
“It’s been an interesting few months with COVID, obviously, with it being really prevalent now in the Kimberley so preseason probably hasn’t been as good as last year’s pre-season but nevertheless, we’re still training hard and hoping to start the season strong when it starts up in a couple weeks time,” he said.
Albert says the Greenbacks will be keeping a close eye on last year’s runner-up the Looma Eagles.
“Our key opponents in the past have been the Looma Eagles,” he said.
“(Looma) have done a really good job to get into the competition and play the last few years.
“Towns have also been training for a long time and they have some pretty good numbers so they’re definitely going to be competitive again this year and hopefully we’ll have some good battles against them.”
There are several players in the Cable Beach women’s team that Albert says spectators should keep a look out for.
“Players who played really well last year include ladies like Katherine Dann who’s had a lot of experience playing footy here, and has played a bit Darwin as well so we expect her to have a big year,” he said.
“Elainah Coffin as well, she had an awesome year last year, she hadn’t played too much footy before that but really dominated in the midfield so we’re also looking for a good season from her.
“Annie Dann, Katherine’s sister, she was really solid down in the backline so looking for a solid year from her as well.”
The first match of the season will be between the Broome Bulls and Towns women’s teams and will take place on Friday, April 29 at BRAC at 6pm.
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