West Gambier senior football coach puts positive spin on interrupted preseason

Brenton James, Cameron Sandercockcrop TBW Newsgroup

Brenton James, Cameron Sandercockcropweb TBW Newsgroup
PROMISING SIGNS: West Gambier A Grade coach Cameron Sandercock (right) – pictured with club president Brenton James – hopes the coronavirus break wont halt the Roos’ positive build-up towards the 2020 Western Border Football League season.

WEST Gambier A Grade coach Cameron Sandercock could not have asked for a tougher start to his first foray into Western Border football.

After six years coaching in the Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League, Sandercock has headed south to help the Roos go one better than their strong 2019 campaign.

However, the worldwide spread of coronavirus has thrown all plans out the window.

Despite the unexpected interruption, Sandercock is not overly concerned with the current state of affairs after a short, but strong pre-season.

“It (the break) is not too bad because pre-season was a bit shorter, so in a way it sort of helps us,” he said.

But Sandercock did admit the restrictions are far from ideal.

He said he has left his men off to their own devices until the start of the season materialises.

“Obviously we cannot be around each other, so I have let them go off on their own merits, as long as they are fit and ready for the start of the season,” Sandercock said.

“Most of them look after themselves and as we get a bit closer to the start date we will try a few fitness things to get them up to scratch.”

Interestingly, the Roos did not start training until after Christmas.

Apart from a “muck around” run in December, the team did not hit the training track until 10 weeks before the original start of the season in February.

Sandercock said that has been a philosophy he has developed after years of experience.

“I usually run my pre-seasons a bit shorter, but with more intensity,” he said.

“A lot of clubs start before Christmas, but I find players start to lose interest.”

Although West was not on the park as long as some competitors, it has continued to take strides.

The Roos have already notched up two victories in 2020 after successful trial games against Tantanoola and Glencoe.

Sandercock said he likes what he sees from his group in action and warns an attacking brand of football could be in store.

“Everyone seems on the ball and we had it pretty worked out,” he said.

“When we played Glenoce, we got up by about 15 goals and we still had another six players to come in, so that was promising.

“They seem to like the fast, running, play-on style of footy, which suits me because that is what I am used to coaching.

“The trick is just making sure they will get back and defend.”

While there is plenty of promise among the squad, unfortunately not everything has gone to plan.

One of the club’s emerging talents had an incident which gave everyone at Malseed Park a scare.

“Young Jett Attard had a crash on a motorbike and we actually were not sure if he was ever going to play again,” Sandercock said.

Attard is an unlikely prospect for the 2020 season should it go ahead, but Sandercock said the extended break should give other injured players time to recover.

Tom Holmes and Steve Wenman will both be out from under the injury cloud once football returns and the Roos should jump towards another strong season.

Sandercock said there are positive feelings shared around the group, which is desperate for some on-field action.

“Everyone was looking forward to the season,” he said.

“The boys are keen and stirring each other up on Facebook.

“They are pretty frustrated with the season being knocked back a little bit, but hopefully we get to play and it is not shut down all together.”