Young Bulls heading into 2024

Liam Kolar (Jacob Pattison)331317_15

Harper Sercombe

There’s a buzz building at Bundoora ahead of the Northern Football League season.

New coach Heath Scotland said key personnel departing the club hasn’t affected his plans, with the former Pie and Blue encouraged by the youthful talent on his list.

Last season, Scotland took Deer Park to its first Essendon District premiership and he then took the role at Bundoora following the departure of Michael Ryan.

Ryan left the club after taking the Bulls to back-to-back grand final appearances.

Following Ryan’s decision to leave, a suite of players left the club including the top two in the club’s best and fairest, Sam Lloyd and Hamish Shepheard. Another eight players also left Yulong Reserve.

“There’s always challenges at every footy club and it’s been well documented that we’ve lost a few players, but we’ve been actively recruiting as well like every footy club,” Scotland said.

“At the same time we’ve got a really good core group of young players with talent. So it’s been exciting to work with them and with new coaches and a new fresh look and some fresh eyes on the list. It’s created a bit of energy so it’s been an exciting pre-season.”

Scotland said the runners up performances from the past two seasons provides organic motivation for the club and the players, yet he doesn’t want to dwell on the past either.

“The players who played in it and the club as a whole are stung by the last couple of years with a couple of close losses and falling short on the ultimate day,” he said.

“I think the most pleasant thing from the players perspective is having a new opportunity. Every player on the list now is stating their case with a fresh set of eyes, in terms of myself coming on as a coach.

“That’s created an opportunity and an energy around our training, because I’m looking at a list with no preconceived ideas, so I can shape a team that I think will be our best.

“Every player on our list at training is stating their case to get an opportunity to say they’re a senior player so that’s created an organic energy and training’s been nice and fun and hard working.

“Every coach and club out there is trying to win a premiership regardless of where you’re sitting or what people think. It would be pretty silly to go in with anything less than that ultimate goal.”