UNLIKE Craigieburn this time last year, Glenroy is coming up into Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division with a better side than the one that got it there.
The Roys won promotion with a dogged 13-point win over Airport West in last year’s Essendon Ford Division 1 Grand Final.
Only one member of the premiership 22, forward Luke Capuano, is gone.
EDFL journeyman Aaron Kite is back at his home club and will fill the Capuano void, while the return of Lachie Ronaldson from Essendon Doutta Stars will further bolster what is already a potent and formidable forward line.
Adam Winter is no stranger to Premier Division and is coming off a 63-goal year, while fellow big Jayden Walker kicked 50 of his own and has also made the leap to the top tier.
“We’ll have four big blokes that will be able to take marks, with Walker, Winter, Kite and Ronaldson,” coach Ross Terranova told essendondfl.com.au.
“Zach Smith will probably push down there at times as well, so we’ll probably use the standard structure with Winter, Kite and Walker.
“Then we’ll probably push Kite down back at times when we need him and I’m more than happy to push him through the wing as well, because his fitness level is right up there at the moment.”
Terranova knows Premier Division footy is on a different level to that of Division 1.
That’s why a defence-first ethos has been pushed on the training track over the summer.
“The level is going to change quite dramatically, it’s a different style of footy,” Terranova said.
“We know it’s going to be a quicker brand of footy and we’re just trying to put things in place that will hopefully allow us to defend well.
“The first thing is to defend well and then take that into attack, so we’ve been planning to make sure that our fitness is up there and that our skill level is going to be right up there.”
The defensive game plan will be geared toward shutting down opposition time and space.
While that’s always a key ingredient to success, it is an area Glenroy will have to excel at against Premier Division opposition.
“We’re going to have to be tighter in the way we defend from a total game perspective,” Terranova explained.
“So that’s our forwards, our mids and our backs. We’ve got to make sure that we don’t allow sides to kick multiple goals.
“That’s going to be a big key because sides can take you apart in five minutes of footy.”
Glenroy’s first Premier Division/A Grade game since 2009 will be at home to West Coburg on April 7.
Key Ins: Aaron Kite (forward, Craigieburn), Tom Atwell (utility, Prahran Assumption), Zach Smith (ruckman, Grovedale), James Riley (midfielder, St Bernards), Daniel Riley (midfielder, St Bernards), Jake Young (midfielder, Sunbury Kangaroos), Michael Bolitho (midfielder, Birrigurra), Lachie Waite (midfielder, Seymour), Lachie Ronaldson (ruck/forward, Essendon Doutta Stars), Tyson Lever (Adelaide SANFL, defender), Jackson McDonald (utility, Aberfeldie) & Jay O’Donoghue (midfielder, Corowa Rutherglen)
Key Outs: Luke Capuano (Roxburgh Park) & Rodney Carruthers (Thomastown)
First Month: West Coburg (home), Essendon Doutta Stars (away), Greenvale (away) & Strathmore (home)