Limestone Coast gears up for first regional carnival

ON THE JOB: Tom Renzi is ready to coach the Limestone Coast football senior squad to victory against Mid South East this Saturday.

James Murphy

BRAGGING rights will be on the line this weekend when the Limestone Coast Football Netball League gears up for its first South East Zone Regional Football Carnival.

The 2024 event will be hosted at Blue Lake Sports Park in Mount Gambier, with the senior competition to feature a game between the LCFNL and Mid South East football interleague sides.

Millicent’s Tom Renzi is coach of the Limestone Coast team and has a wealth of talent at his disposal.

“We have a pretty handy squad we are going to roll out,” he told The Border Watch this week.

“I am trying to get a nice mix of the young blokes who are coming up and exploring it for the first, second, third time, but also those blokes who have the steady heads and you know what you are going to get out of them.

“It is exciting and I am looking forward to it.”

Renzi is no stranger to representative football but it will be his first endeavour into coaching at this level.

He said so far it had been an enjoyable experience.

“I am really looking forward to just coaching the group,” he said.

“There are people that you play against that you don’t usually get to coach or hang out with.

“Anyone who comes from another club, it is good to get out there and speak to them and have those conversations around football.

“I am really looking forward to talking to the other boys from the other clubs.”

Renzi will match up against Clint Gallio, who will coach the MSEFL squad this year.

The two are well acquainted, having played together at both Mount Burr and Millicent, while most recently joint coaching the Saints to the 2023 Western Border Football League premiership.

There will no doubt be some friendly rivalry on show this weekend, but Renzi said they were both simply out there to do a job.

“I know people want to build that up, but we have known each other for 10 years and there are no secrets in coaching, we all try to do similar things, it is just how you deliver it to get the message across (that differs),” he said.

“I am looking forward to it and at the end of the day we will sit down and have a beer and laugh about whatever happens.”

That does not mean Renzi will not be out to win and he hopes to put on a spectacle in the inaugural appearance of the newly formed league.

“It is the first year of the Limestone Coast footy (League) and we want to showcase what we have got and how our footy has evolved over the last four or five years,” he said.

“You go out there and everyone wants to win.”

The final playing list was decided last night, which should be up to the task of putting on a show this Saturday.

“The higher you get in any sport the margins for error become smaller and smaller,” he said.

“Each of them has their own individual skill set.

“Not all of them are in there for their kicking or marking, but their own individual quality that they bring to the side.

“When you get to this level it is about not trying to do too much and show off.”

Whichever side can best put their team first and gel together will hold the upper hand in what should be a good contest.

As always, an added incentive to perform will have all players competing in the carnival eligible to make the training squad for the South East Zone team which will compete in the South Australian Country Championships played in Victor Harbour on July 13 and 14.

Prior to the senior match at 2.50pm, the junior carnival will take place.

In the junior ranks all three South East football leagues will go head-to-head, with the LCFNL, MSEFL and Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara Football League playing off in the Under 17.5 and Under 15 age brackets.

While the senior game will be a full-length four-quarter match, the juniors will play two halves of 22 minutes with no time on and a five-minute break at the change.