Brookers building

353178_18 (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Harper Sercombe

After a tough introduction to the Western Region Football League division 2 last season, Braybrook says lessons have been learnt as it looks to pass the wooden spoon on.

Coach Geoff Maddern said it’s been a strong off-season at the club, with plenty of players coming on board, and a step up from the crop that has hung around.

“It’s going really well, we started nice and early and we’ve had great attendances all the way through so we’ve been really happy with that,” he said.

“What I’ve been really excited about is the intensity and effort put in by the fellas from last year in the leadership group, that’s been incredible.

“The new guys to the footy club have been terrific too. Ricky Cameron has been on the track every night and has been fantastic. Matty and Justin Condo catch the eye, it’s been terrific.”

Cameron and the Condo brothers are three of 13 players that have been announced as new Brookers for 2024.

Last year the club won just one game, but with all division 3 clubs joining the Brookers next season, it is set to be an interesting season ahead.

“It’s a strange one isn’t it,” Maddern said. “I don’t think anyone saw it panning out the way that it actually did until right at the last minute.

“I think everyone is going into division 2 this year with their eyes wide open that there’s a couple of sides at the top that are going to be very hard to beat. We expect great competitive footy right across the board.

“It helps for our guys to have been up at that level and had a bit of a go against the really accomplished sides and taught us a bit of a lesson for a lot of last year and lessons learnt.

“Hopefully we can adapt our footy a little bit to play at that level and be more competitive with the top teams and be really competitive with the sides through the middle there as well.”

While the Brookers can expect to be a more competitive outfit this season, Maddern said he won’t be placing any expectations on his group.

“With the way things have been set up we don’t sort of put numbers on things,” he said.

“The goal last year was to survive. We were looking at improvement and survival last year and we’re looking to establish Braybrook as a relevant footy club at this level. That’s probably the number one thing, rather than saying this many wins and this many losses.

“We’ll wait and see how things pan out, because we’ve recruited but I reckon every club around us will have been doing the same and I think it’s going to be a very different looking competition.”

Braybrook will kick off its and the division’s season with a blockbuster against Laverton on Good Friday, March 29.