2024 Melton Pre-Season Preview
With pre-season preparations well under way and Round 1 quickly approaching, Scoop has gone one-on-one with all 11 senior football coaches ahead of the 2024 McDonalds BFNL season.
COACH: Troy Scoble
Previous Experience/Accolades: Geelong VFL Assistant/Line/Development Coach (2019-23), Melton South Senior Coach (2007-10).
ON THE RECORD:
SCOOP: Troy, welcome aboard - you take over a group that has seemingly had the competition mentally beat before the opening bounce, but that aura has shifted somewhat since a straight sets exit in last year’s finals. How do you go about invigorating a group to go again and a little differently I imagine under your tutelage?
TROY SCOBLE: Thats the challenge for us sure - reinvigorate the older group, educate the middle, develop the young. They're a motivated, driven group and whilst we are looking forward, not back, some do feel they left a bit of footy out there last year. Excited about supporting the group to fulfill their potential.
SCOOP: Denying the Bloods uncontested marking (primarily) was a masterstroke from coaches Travis Hodgson (2022) and Dan Jordan (2023, three times). Is there a plan to change the way you play or can we expect pretty much of the same. After all, it was only Darley and East Point that found a way last year.
TS: Expect a different style of footy - focus on our structure and an emphasis on our quality of clearance and method around the contest.
SCOOP: Did you watch much BFNL footy last year - if so, what are your thoughts on the level of competition?
TS: Saw every game. Standard is good. Teams have different sets of attributes and some real high-quality coaching.
SCOOP: Did you start making notes on opposition once aware of your appointment for season 2024?
TS: Yeah I did, more so on the style of footy teams were playing and what we need think about to combat that and challenge the competition. Was also detailed assessment of the Melton list - where we're at / what to work on etc.
SCOOP: Ben Archard and Brenton Payne are notable absentees for your 2024 campaign but you welcome back the Hickeys among a few. I guess it's a case of aerial loss for ground ball gain. How do you see it?
TS: Agree totally. Running capacity over aerial regardless of talent we will ensure we have a greater balance and flexibility for the type of footy we want to play.
SCOOP: What will be the three non-negotiables playing under Troy Scoble?
TS: Run, Use the ball well, Team first attitude.
SCOOP: The Devils got you three times last year. They're the new yardstick - share a weakness of theirs with the broader BFNL that will help find a way through.
TS: I thought Darley were in great shape to win it a long way out, they are coached so well. Any vulnerabilities if I have to pick an area - maybe scoring. Defensively and their work around the contest and clearance through the midfield, you don't see much better.
TS: Running ability, Balance and depth of the list (talls and smalls). United, well driven local group.
TS: New game style, clear method in all phases of the game. (Defence, Contest and Offence), Development from within the list, plenty of players hungry for opportunity.
MOST UNDER AND OVERRATED STAT IN TODAY'S BFNL FOOTY
TS: Possessions – Overrated, Post clearance groundball - Underrated
TS: Strong numbers with 76 players training. One session per week only for a month pre-Xmas - returned Jan 22.
Jaycob Hickey (Diggers Rest), Lachlan Hickey (Diggers Rest), Bailey Mawson (returning), Billy Sullivan (Darley).
Ben Archard (work - Noosa, Qld), Brenton Payne (Gordon)
VFL AFFILIATED PLAYERS
Kyle Borg (Port Melbourne), Jack Watkins (North Melbourne), Conrad Farrugia (Werribee training), Adrian Monitto (Werribee training).
SCOOP: Rated second EASIEST draw in the comp with double ups against just two of remaining five finalists from last year (Darley, North Ballarat). Other double up meetings include Melton South, Lake Wendouree, Bacchus Marsh and Sunbury). On the draw alone, there should be no excuses. Expecting the Bloods again to secure a top three finish after two previous H&A Minor Premierships.
PRACTICE MATCH SCHEDULE
March 16 v Strathmore (Venue TBA)
March 23 v Gisborne (Venue TBA)
April 6 v Pending opposition.
IMPROVERS TIP: (OUTSIDE OF MELTON)
TS: East Point
FLAG TIP: (OUTSIDE OF MELTON)