Captain Beau Witheridge ..leading from the front
Captain Beau Witheridge ..leading from the front

Beach ready to roll

By Gary Stocks

The appetite has been whet by the activation of the AFL season. Now it’s time for community football to enter the fray as the greatest game of them kick starts at Charles Riley Reserve.

It will explode to life in the most emphatic fashion when the North Beach Football Clubs bursts into activity with a double-header being played at its traditional home.

Since the redevelopment of the complex was completed the Beach faithful have been looking forward to this occasion and it should generate a wonderful atmosphere – and a very intimidating environment for opposition teams.

The cauldron will be inhospitable, albeit respectful of the opposition, and it might just prove decisive in a close game.

Certainly senior coach David Hynes will be hoping that’s the case as the O’Rourke Realty A-Grade team prepares to play the competition benchmark of the last five years, University.

The Scholars have been a dominant force since North Beach won the last of seven consecutive premierships in 2010 and they represent a significant first-up challenge. It was similar last year when the Beach hosted University in round one and led for all but the last 30 seconds of the game.

The young North Beach team lapsed defensively at a stoppage in the back half and allowed Uni to find the winning goal in a gut-wrenching defeat. This team is a little more mature for the return bout and they will steel themselves for the biggest challenge in amateur footy.

The club has been successful in attracting some exciting on-field talent to its ranks with players like Luke Symonds, Jay Allison-Green, Tim Edwards, Marc Crisp and Jacob Doutch all lining up for the Tigers for the first time.

In addition Daniel Leishman, who played in a Subiaco premiership two years ago, after starting his football journey at the Beach, resumes in the red and yellow.

They complement the existing corps of exciting young talent within the club who performed so admirably last year.

The likes of Joel Brown, Nick Reid, Rhys Holdman, Ryan Ekhart and Jack O’Gorman – all of whom remain in the senior team for this match, with Nick Bowe who missed the 2015 campaign as he travelled overseas.

With an influx of talent at the senior level, the depth of the club looks strong with the Lifenet A-Reserves looking in good shape and they will be looking for a positive start to the season.

They will again be coached by club great Scott Holbrook who is excited about the opening to the season.

So, too, is Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts coach Craig Dalton. His team has been grand finalists in the last two years and traditionally University are strong at the under-20 level, having a deep talent pool from which to dredge.

They will kick off the action at a busy Charles Riley Reserve at 10.40am, while the Red Hill Brett Jones Colts, the Hybrid Linings D1-Grade and the Coast to Coast Imports D1-Reserves will open their season against Trinity Aquinas at South Oval.

The Express Bins D2-Grade and the Fusion D2-Reserves will both play on Charles Riley Reserve #2.

O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach v University, Charles Riley Reserve 2.30pm
Lifenet A-Reserves
North Beach v University, Charles Riley Reserve 12.35pm
Plasterwise Phil Scott Colts
North Beach v University, Charles Riley Reserve 10.40am
Hybrid Linings D1-Grade
Trinity Aquinas v North Beach, South Oval, 2.30pm
Coast to Coast Imports D1-Reserves
Trinity Aquinas v North Beach, South Oval, 12.35pm
Red Hill Brett Jones Colts
Trinity Aquinas v North Beach, South Oval, 10.40am
Express Bins D2-Grade
North Beach v Ballajura, Charles Riley Reserve 2.30pm
Express Bins D1-Reserves
North Beach v University, Charles Riley Reserve 12.35pm