Joeys chase that feeling again

Updated: November 30, 2015
St Joseph's celebrates its first GFL premiership in 26 years. Picture: ARJ GIESE

St Joseph's celebrates its first GFL premiership in 26 years. Picture: ARJ GIESE

Can St Joseph’s win back-to-back senior flags for the first time in its its history in 2016? Picture: ARJ GIESE

ST Joseph’s coach Heath Jamieson has urged his players to “chase that feeling” in its quest for consecutive GFL premierships.

Joeys reported for pre-season training last Wednesday, just 60 days after snapping a 26-year premiership drought with their grand final victory over Newtown & Chilwell.

Despite their dominance in 2015, where they lost just one game (to Bell Park in Round 16), Jamieson says they have to keep improving.

“Right now I reckon there is some hungry sides in the competition that will be working as hard to try and get to where we set the bar,” he said.

“We’ve got to keep lifting that bar.”

Jamieson, who is entering his fourth season as coach of St Joseph’s, believes natural improvement in his young list will be a key.

“What we had in that grand final side was 15-16 players under the age of 24,” he said.

“Those guys will keep improving. They hit their peak from 24-27, so that gradual improvement will come from them.

“(And) it will come from hungry guys that played at 12 o’clock (reserves) trying to replace them.”

The Joeys will have a different look about them in 2016 with four confirmed departures.

Brett Jackman has retired, Paul Carson will join Inverleigh as playing assistant coach and Daniel Gibbs has returned to Queenscliff.

Big man Lachie Howe, who returned late in the season from a knee reconstruction, is likely to play in Melbourne.

“He’s a bit of a loss for us, but he’s been great for our footy club,” Jamieson said.

“He’s travelled down from Melbourne for 3-4 years and has got to that stage where he’s stepping out of the uni life and stepping into work life, and he’s aligned himself with a job in Melbourne with one of the amateur clubs.”

Despite the losses of that quartet as well as depth players like Andrew Hodgson, Jono Casey (both Queenscliff) and David King (Ocean Grove), Jamieson is confident of covering their departures.

“We get a great batch of under-18 (Colts) kids; James Hickey, Brandon Verfurth, Patrick Kelleher,” he said

“We’ve got some hungry kids there that want to play.

“We’ll bring some players in.

“We’ve got Scott Dixon through the door who we’ve watched for a few years and think is a really talented player.

“We’re still talking to a few that we hope will commit pretty soon.

“It’s important you keep rejuvenating the place.

“That’s what happens in footy clubs. The older, experienced players retire. They’ve done their job and we replenish with the younger ones.”

Twitter: @tom_king79