Former Brisbane and Essendon champion Roger Merrett was down at Charles Riley Reserve last Thursday night, offering valuable advice for a range of players on their work around stoppages.
Obviously the advice was taken on board with the club heading to the country last weekend to take on South-West Football League South Bunbury in two senior practice matches at Hands Oval.
North Beach prevailed in both games and a feature of the effort was the work around the stoppages as well as the effort by the Beach in channeling the ball through the midfield and hitting up targets inside the attacking 50 metre arc.
Merrett, a 313-game veteran with the Bombers (149) and Bears (164), formed a close bond with current North Beach coach Bill Duckworth when they were both at Windy Hill and seized upon the opportunity to visit the club while in Perth.
Duckworth would have been well satisfied with the effort of both Beach teams against South Bunbury, with the intensity, poise under pressure and team work outstanding features in both games.
Set up by the indefatigable Kyle Reiman through the midfield and with strong contributions from other experienced stars Ben Heap, Simon Pearce and Anthony “Chooka” Ingham North Beach charged to a 43-point triumph.
Up forward, Mitch Holbrook was always dangerous with four goals, and good support came from Nathan Mossop, who bagged three majors.
The reserves side won by 64 points, with Lloyd Quinlan producing a dominant display and good support on offer from Morgan Reiman and the Langsford brothers.
North Beach 16.11 (107) def South Bunbury 10.4 (64)
Best Players: Kyle, Heap, S Pearce, Ingham, McCloud, M Holbrook, Mossop
North Beach 14.6 (90) def South Bunbury 4.2 (26)
Best players: Quinlan, M Reiman, A Langsford, T Langsford
Meanwhile, the colts, thirds and fourths rounded off preparations for their start to the season with solid hit outs in atrocious conditions at Charles Riley on Saturday.
The colts had the worst of the weather, with the rain failing to stop at any point in the match. It was an encouraging intra-club hit-out on a day when Dave Barwick and Gary Stocks coached each side and Richard Bewick umpired. Despite his self-assessment being one of satisfaction with his effort as a whitsle blower, don’t expect him to join the umpiring panel any time soon!
This week the West Coast Eagles colts division, the thirds and fourths will open the season and the club expects to field strong teams in all grades.