Bundoora banking on youth

Peter Hood in his last stint at Bundoora. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Tara Murray

Bundoora will field a younger side this season in Northern Football League division 1.

After missing finals for the first time in a number of years, the Bulls find themselves in an unusual position.

New coach Michael Ryan said there was definitely motivation in the group to get back into the top five.

“It was very underwhelming,” he said of last season.

“There’s only one way and that’s to bounce back and there’s hard work being done.

“There’s been consistency at training and they are buying into what we are trying to do.

“We’re looking to right a few wrongs from 2019.”

The Bulls list will be different from previous years.

Gary Moorcroft has retired while Dale Marshall, Daniel Guccione and Eamon Gilbert have also moved on.

The Bulls have been busy replacing those guys, while also adding some extra depth.

Peter Hood, Kain Proctor, Jai Burns all return to the club having played with Fitzroy Stars the last season.

Kyle Green has joined the Bulls from North Heidelberg and Jesse King has come across from Eltham.

Former AFL-listed player Hamish Shepheard will provide a target up forward and Cameron Wallace has also joined the Bulls.

Former Northern Knights star Jackson Davies has also come across but Ryan said they were unsure how much they would see of him due to VFL commitments. 

Ryan said most of those the guys they have brought in are under-23 which is bright for the future of the club.

He said with three of them already having played at the club and a couple of others with connections, they’ve fitted in smoothly.

Ryan they were also looking for some players from last year’s reserves premiership side to step up.

“If we’re to improve as a club, that’s where it will from,” he said.

“Guys that were in and out last year, we’re expecting a lot more from them this year.”

Bundoora has also boosted the off field department with the signing of David Buttifant.

Buttifant has worked at both Collingwood and Carlton, along with Australian Olympic team in fitness and conditioning.

Ryan said had Buttifant was working hard not just the physical side of things, but also the mental.

“I had a relationship with him outside of Bundoora and I reached out to him and he was happy to come out and help,” he said.

“The one thing I know, we will be super fit this year. We’ve been working really hard, with footballs in hand.

“His track record speaks for itself.”

Ryan said they were happy with where things were sitting at the moment, but would find out more once the practice matches start.

They have three practice matches scheduled for March.