The WA Amateur Football League season is moving towards round six. North Beach sits at 3-2 in the A-grade competition and while the two losses have been narrow, almost self-inflicted, senior coach David Hynes continues to tweak his line-up.
The former Port Adelaide (SANFL) and West Coast Eagles premiership star, who also won a coveted Fos Williams Medal playing for SA against Victoria in a State of Origin encounter, has an open mind on selection and structure.
That attitude was again on display at the club last night when he emerged from the match committee meeting to announce four changes – off the back of a win – albeit a stuttering victory, against Maddington last Saturday.
Some players who had previously not received an opportunity in A-Grade have been given their chance, a reward for their attitude and effort through pre-season and the early training phase, and Hynes has not been afraid to experiment and tinker with the structure.
With Christian Bottechia (Subiaco) and Jimmy Lee (shoulder) both unavailable, two opportunities were created. The match committee also opted to return feisty forward Rob McComiskie and versatile big man Cale Potts to the A-Reserves.
In that shuffle two players will get the chance to play A-Grade for the first time. Forward Kyle Cranley and midfielder Dion Cownie have been promoted. Co-captain Beau Witheridge, who missed last week’s game for personal reasons, and experienced forward Ben Wilson, also come into the line-up.
Cownie is an interesting story. He arrived at the club unannounced in pre-season, having relocated from interstate, and was training with the lower grades when he decided, on about his third training night, to approach Hynes.
He told the senior coach that he was more than capable of playing higher up the grades and would appreciate the opportunity to prove himself. He has done that and will now debut in the match against Swan Athletic at Charles Riley tomorrow.
Wilson, like several others this season, has commanded an opportunity through sheer weight of form in the A-Reserves. He has been a stand-out contributor in the last three or four games and his effort simply had to be rewarded.
Cranley is a former Subiaco-listed player who has had his share of injury concerns in the last couple of years and has patiently built his training and playing loads to the stage where is ready to ply his trade in the seniors.
With four changes in the A-Grade, clearly that impacts further down the grades, with the unbeaten A-Reserves gaining Potts, McComiskie and Sam Green, who was unavailable last week.
The reserves have been terrific all season and with so many players in good touch, the pressure remains on those players in the A-Grade line-up to continue to produce.
Round 6 Fixtures
O’Rourke Realty A-Grade
North Beach v Swan Athletic, Charles Riley Reserve, 2.30pm
Credent Financial Services A-Reserves
North Beach v Swan Athletic, Charles Riley Reserve, 12.35pm
Nuchange Phil Scott Colts
North Beach v Swam Athletic, Charles Riley Reserve, 10.45am
Townley Group D1-Grade
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, Morris Buzacott Reserve, 2.30pm
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, Morris Buzacott Reserve, 12.35pm
Tuck Plumbing Brett Jones Colts
Fremantle CBC v North Beach, Morris Buzacott Reserve, 10.45am
Pana’s Pool Supplies E2-Grade
North Beach v Hamersley-Carine, Percy Doyle Oval, 2.30pm