Pennant Hills looking to settle their 2013 demons

Pennant Hills looking to settle their 2013 demons

March 3, 2014


This year, Senior Coach Chris Yard is asking his players to take it to the next level.

Pre-season at Mike Kenny Oval has seen the club focus on the skills that let them down against Manly-Warringah last September. While impressed with his teams’ performance in the past few years, Yard is looking to push the solid foundation that they have already built.

“So far, pre-season has been great. Being so close last year, the boys came back hungry and determined to take that next step. The group as a whole is training really well.”

Adam Nixon and Tom Edmonds are said to be standing out amongst the group in pre-season training. Nixon is currently dominating the gruelling rounds of pre-season testing, exhibiting a superior running ability and Edmonds’ efforts during the off-season are proving to be worth it, catching the coach’s eye before Round One.

With Pennant Hills making the Premier Division, Under 18s and Division Four grand final matches last year, it is clear that the club has a wealth of talent to choose from when promoting from within.

As a few former team members rejoin the Premier Division squad in 2014, they also welcome some young guns already well versed in the Demons club song. Their hard working youngsters are certainly making up for any player losses that they have had since the 2013.

“As always at Pennant Hills, one of our goals is to focus on bringing our good young quality players up into the Premier Division side.”

“From the grand final side, we have lost a couple of our more experienced guys. Obviously big losses, but the young guys are training hard and ready to step up and fill those positions.”

While many teams have named Pennant Hills as the side to beat in 2014, they name the squad that beat them in last year’s grand final, Manly-Warringah. Observing the fact that several of the other clubs have recruited well, Yard predicts that the year ahead will be extremely competitive, no matter the opposition.

[It’s] Great for the competition.”

Off the field, the Demons have said goodbye to their Assistant Coach, Tim Kenny.

“My long time partner in crime, Tim Kenny has decided to take a break from footy. Tim has been a big part of the footy club for a long time and will be missed,” Yard acknowledges.

Replacing Kenny will be a former Pennant Hills Demon, Andrew McLellan. Having spent 10 years at Balmain, and more recently assisting at UTS, Yard expressed his excitement at McLellan’s return “home”.

With Brandon Jack, a former Pennant Hills player, joining his brother Kieren at the Sydney Swans for his successful debut season last year, the club is rightfully thrilled at their standing within the AFL community.

It is being a part of the AFL community, as well as creating their own, that Yard hails as one of the most successful aspects of their club. Crediting the club for continuously creating a “loyal and genuine playing group”, Yard and his fellow coaches have all grades train together, generating a club spirit that is enviable to others.

“We are lucky at Pennant Hills. We seem to do the basic things well, nothing overly flash. Most of our players have grown up in the area and played juniors with or against each other, and have gone to school together.”

“That is something you can’t recreate and it really brings all the boys close together.”

Although losing the 2013 grand final by such a close margin was a tough pill to swallow, it is clear that the Pennant Hills Demons will come out firing in 2013.

“We wish all the other clubs all the best.”

Pennant Hills play the Sydney Hills Eagles at Mike Kenny Oval on 29 March 2014 at 2:30pm.

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