By Gary Stocks
North Beach is looking forward to its first competitive hit-out of the 2013 campaign when it plays Scarborough in a practice match at Charles Riley Reserve tomorrow.
After a solid pre-season under the guidance of senior coach David Hynes, the sense of expectation was palpable at training on Thursday night. While the clash with Scarborough is the final dress rehearsal the Beach is looking forward to trialling a few new game plan initiatives.
And, of course, there will be a few new faces on show as well.
“I couldn’t fault the attitude and effort of the group through the pre-season,” Hynes said. “They have embraced what we are trying to create here and now there seems to be genuine excitement around putting that into practice and executing our game plan.
“There will be a few new faces, so it would be good to see strong numbers at Charles Riley to have a look.
“This is an important game for us because it is our only chance to trial a few things before tackling last year’s grand finalists, Trinity Aquinas, in round one.
“It seems like it has taken us a while to get here and all the boys are ready to go.”
Essentially the Beach will field a strong A-Grade team and some of the new faces the North Beach faithful will see in the red and yellow for the first time are midfielder Tim Nelli and defender Ethan Panizza, who is Claremont-listed and son of Tigers games record-holder Darrell.
Some familiar names who will be returning to action include Joe Boys and Steve Mansfield, who are back after a couple of years at East Perth.
Jamie Sajich and Ryan Underwood are working their way back into fitness after interrupted pre-seasons.
The club has this year appointed co-captains Beau Witheridge and Anthony Ingham while Mitch Dwyer is vice-captain.
There will be a solid four-game program on hand at Charles Riley, starting at 9am when the Phil Scott Colts will wind down their pre-season formalities and ramp it up for the season proper. The colts have enjoyed an outstanding preparation under former player Craig Dalton, who has taken over the reins.
Another North Beach stalwart Brett Christie has taken over this week as coach of the threes and will have his first game in charge tomorrow while Michael Pratt continues as A Reserves coach and an assistant coach to Hynes.
There will be a number of players in the A-Reserves anxious to impress and push for round one senior selection. Some new faces worth noting are speedy wingman Jake Brazill, hard-nosed midfielder Dion Cowney, developing big man Michael Schofield and forward Christian Bottechia, who has missed a chunk of pre-season but is a player of exciting talent.
The schedule of matches against Scarborough:
9am – Colts
10.40am – Thirds
12.40pm – A Reserves
2.30pm – A-Grade
As always, match day assistance is required, particularly with the early games so any keen North Beach devotees would be most welcome in assisting before, during and after games.
The fourths and fifths will travel by bus to play Southern River while the Brett Jones Colts will play at Percy Doyle at 12.30pm against Kingsway.
By Gary Stocks