Saker satisfied with hit out

Lui Zacher
March 14, 2023 / 7:24 pm

NEW coach James Saker is “happy” with what Bell Park will take away from its first practice match.

The Dragons met Bellarine League powerhouse Torquay last Thursday night in a match-up that saw several first-timers in a green and white jumper.

“We got out of it what we thought, which primarily this time of year is just some conditioning and getting used to hitting bodies again,” Saker said.

“We got through pretty much unscathed injury-wise, and we got a clear understanding of some areas we need to work on and what’s working OK for us at this early stage.

“Fair to say, from a coaching perspective, I’m still learning a lot about the list, and who’s going to play where and all that stuff.

“The praccy was really good for some of that as well.”



Bell Park fielded several new faces, including previously announced trio Ed Boyer (Skipton)Willson Mack (Brock-Burrum) and Hunter Surrey (Yarrawonga).

Recent additions Ned Payne (Camperdown) and Kye Edwards (Lake Wendouree) were also in action.

Edwards spent time in the ruck – an area the Dragons are looking to fill with the departures of Luke Goetz and Will Christie.

“He didn’t play much footy last year, and he’s here doing uni,” Saker said.

“He’s a good size for us. He played a bit of senior footy back home.

“We’ve had quite a few of that age bracket that have come to the club this year, which is good.”

Surrey slotted in across half-back and staked a claim on an early senior opportunity.

“He played on some pretty handy Torquay forwards, which was good for him,” Saker said.

“He showed he’s going to be around the mark.”

Bell Park has practice matches against Goulburn Valley League club Benalla Saints, and GFNL rivals Geelong West before opening its 2023 campaign against reigning wooden spooner St Albans.


New Bell Park coach James Saker. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)
Bell Park recruit Willson Mack. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)