EMBARRASSED… it’s the first word Kooweerup coach Matt Shorey uses to describe how he feels about last season’s EDFL West grand-final drubbing at the hands of Cora Lynn.
He was in no mood to mince words while talking to the Gazette on the weekend, acknowledging: “Clearly we got beaten by a better and fitter side on the day.
“There’s no hiding from that… we’re still a bit embarrassed about what happened.
“Guys weren’t playing the games they normally would and we just got that bit of stage fright.
“Credit to them (the Cobras) – they did what they had to do and were clearly the best team in the league for the majority of the year.”
For the Demons, all that matters this season is winning. That’s the bottom line, and they’re hell-bent on making up for last year’s decider.
To do that, they’ve brought in a huge injection of talent and it’s clear they’re not mucking around.
Shaun Marusic is their biggest name recruit, returning to Denhams Road after a premiership-winning stint with West Perth in the WAFL. But the Demons have also brought across Sean Winsall from Pakenham, and Belgrave pair Daniel Calteri and Kory Grant. Jason Baxter has come back to Koowee after a stint in the Nepean league with Somerville, while highly-skilled midfielder Tim Miller has stepped up into a playing-assistant role.
But Shorey knows an influx of talent, by itself, won’t get the job done. The ‘Dees’ have to take another step forward from last year’s breakthrough grand-final appearance.
As for Shorey, himself – it looks like he’ll be taking a step back from the playing side of the game this year.
“If anything I’ll play a fill-in role off the bench and help out when needed and just worry about the team,” he said.
“Clearly last year they won plenty of games without me on the field.
“There’s no focal point up forward anymore – there are other guys who can do it now.
“I spoke to Jock Holland about this just after the season finished.
“He asked me if I could win a game off my own boot now and I said no.
“He told me it might be time to wind things down.
“The thing is, the reason I’m not going to fully give up yet is because I’m not going to leave with my last game being on that note – it’s bloody ordinary. Clearly we had three or four guys who were way underdone – me, Rhys, Timmy Miller and Matty Grant all coming back from injuries. We took a risk and it just didn’t work.”
The Demons are determined to be more versatile this season, with Shorey emphasising the need for players to play multiple positions. And crucially, with Marusic, Winsall, Kory Grant, Tim Miller and Paul Gramc all rotating through the midfield at stages, they’re going to lessen the load on gun skipper Luke Walker.
Despite the side’s grand final loss last year, the mateship amongst the group is as strong as ever and Shorey said they couldn’t wait to get their 2015 campaign underway.
Matt Grant and Rhys Morgan, both of whom were ravaged by injuries last season, are the two main losses from the 2014 Demons side.
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