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2024 Men's Season Preview - Burnside Heights


The 2024 season is just around the corner so EDFL Media will be previewing each club heading into Round One. Next, we chat to Burnside Heights coach Cole Harvey who provides some insights on their 2024 campaign.

2023: 6th (7W, 9L, 103.51%)

Coach: Cole Harvey (second season)


"We had to get active in the recruiting market to bring some players in to fill gaps. We were able to identify them pretty early and get moving on those.

"I think the biggest thing is now that we've got them all in, it's been about getting them all together and getting them used to the way that we want to play."


"We were desperately in need of some forwards, someone to kick the footy at, so with the inclusions of Daniel Hovey, Lachy Evans, Nick Gregson, and Jaydon Stiles, we've filled that void. There was definitely a push toward trying to find some forwards.

"A lot of younger kids were given an opportunity last year and they've all had solid preseasons, but we're really excited about the fact that there's going to be a reasonably high competition for spots in the senior team. We played Tullamarine in a match sim and there were about four or five of those kids who got a go.

"Overall, we feel we've filled the gaps or added depth to the areas we wanted."


"Matthew Larkin has had another really good preseason, Josh Neralic has been good as well coming off a runner-up best and fairest in his first year of senior footy. He's put some size on so it'll be interesting to see how he goes in his second year. Tyson Iglesias has also been fantastic.

"But one of the older boys who we didn't get to see a whole lot last year, Dion Lawson, he's had a monster preseason, got right back into his running and he's been outstanding."


"We feel the list that we've put together will put us in a position to challenge for a spot in the finals. But with two teams coming down and most of the sides being really active in the recruiting space, it'll be a strong competition again!

"The big thing we've been working towards has been getting 18s, and it looks like we'll have that group for the first time in three years which is great. Our overall numbers are great and we're hoping our reserves team will become more competitive which we expect will be the case. For the seniors, and like all clubs in March, we've certainly got our eye on September action that's for sure!


You brought in a lot of youth last year, was there a focus for recruiting bigger bodies or more experienced players this offseason?

It just so happened that the players we wanted to bring in had a fair bit of experience under their belt. We needed some bigger bodies around the ball and up forward but I don't know if it was by design. I would have been just as content to get a 22-year-old power forward from somewhere with not as much experience but it just so happened it fell that way.

You found yourself just out of the finals race in 2023, were there any factors that you identified that held you back?

One of the areas we had to address was our depth and I think that was the biggest thing holding us back. We lost some pretty significant players towards the end of the year and we just weren't able to cover them, especially against the big sides.

You look at the sides that all played finals last year, they all had really good second sides so we knew had to top up and increase our depth.

You kept quiet in the off season and took a while to start announcing your signings that were already locked away. Were you just trying to do your work in the background? What was the thinking behind that?

We felt like we missed the mark a little bit last year, it was frustrating but the competition to get there was strong. We just kept our heads down, we were working really hard in the background not only with recruiting but with trying to improve our system. We had to do what we had to do, no noise required!

Shot after the siren to win, who do you want kicking it?

Jaydon Stiles or Theo Sapountzis.

Biggest pest at the club?

Corey Patmore and Matt Romeo flip a coin, both horrible.

Who might be viewed as the coach's pet?

Hard to go past Antonio “Chuck” Vitalone.

One opposition player you’d love on your side?

My favourite player Rhys Magin has gone but Joshy Trembearth (Hadfield) is a ripping lad.

Flag tip outside of Burnside Heights?

Taylors Lakes.


In: Owen Pawsey (Seaford), Lachlan Evans (Heidelberg West), Daniel Hovey (Wyndham Suns), Nicholas Cugliari (Hillside), Brock Goldsworthy (Talbot), Ryhan Thomas (Williamstown CYMS), Andrej Krunic (Hillside), Brandon Brunalli (Melton Centrals), Simon Maiolo (Caroline Springs), Riley McLaughlin (Kilmore), Joshua Stiles (Heywood), Nicholas Gregson (Braybrook), Zak Zafirovski (Sunshine), Jalen Asani Davis (St Albans), Edwin Hayden (Northside Lions), Jaydon Stiles (Merrigum), Daniel Norman (Keilor), Michael Shailer (Braybrook) & Fabian Beazley (Sunshine Heights). 

Out: Joshua Walker (Mernda), Brandon Yankovski (East Sunbury), Habib Hosni (Hillside), Claudio Campos (East Sunbury), Liam Mercieca (Essendon Doutta Stars), Sam Beckinsale (Aberfeldie), Gabe Cristiano (Aberfeldie), Antonio-Carlos Zammit (Hillside), Matt Giuliano (Woodside) & Thomas Raffaele (Hillside).


Burnside Heights have brought in some experience and bigger bodies to complement their youth as they look to push back into the finals. They've recruited some players that boost their top-end which has in turn assisted their depth, and should find themselves right in the mix come the pointy end of the season. It'll yet again be an even Division Two so it won't be easy, but they've certainly got what it takes.

Ladder Prediction: Finals conversation.


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