By Tara Murray
There’s plenty happening down at Keilor Park as it prepares for next year’s Essendon District Football League division 2 season.
After returning to the field this year, the Devils have been working hard behind the scenes to step it up a level next year.
New Keilor Park coach Paul Guicas said he was thrilled with how things were going.
“It’s all positive,” he said.
“Pre-season has been great and the most we’ve had at training is about 59. We’ve been averaging about 45 at training at the moment.
“We had some players come down that played in our last finals team three years ago. They saw the excitement in the group.
“It’s a credit to the president and whole committee.”
Having gone through last season winless, the Devils are coming from a long way back.
Guicas is quick to give praise to those who played last season and got the side back up and running.
“Having those players last year, it’s set a base for us.
“They are really important and gave us the opportunity. A few who have come back are quality footballers.”
The Devils have been one of the busiest teams on the recruiting front so far. More than 30 clearances have already been put in for new players.
Most of those have come from East Keilor, where Guicas was previously coaching.
He said it was a credit to East Keilor for understanding the situation and getting the transfers done.
Others are coming from Strathmore and PEGS.
Guicas said most of the players were playing reserves football and wanted the opportunity to step up into senior football.
He said some had played senior football, but weren’t able to secure a regular game. “It’s the opportunity to play senior football,” he said.
“Four played in a division grand final three years ago, and are now a bit older.
“We’ve picked up a few from Strathmore where I had coached before, they are four quality players coming across.
“A few of them will be really good at this level. They will have an instant impact.”
Keilor Park are still talking to players and could have another three or four sign on.
The new signings has given the club confidence that it could get a reserves side back up and running, after not fielding one for the past two years.
“We are confident of having a reserves side,” Guicas said.
“[Reserves coach] Daniel Galea and I sat down and mocked up two sides. I can’t see us not having two sides.
“We’re building depth and building from the bottom up.”
Things are going well off field as well for the Devils, with a number of new sponsors jumping on board.
Guicas said they weren’t getting too carried away with what to expect.
“We just want to be competitive for every second of every minute of every game and the rest will come.
“We want to win and the sky is the limit for us.”