With great numbers returning for pre-season since the Christmas break, Pakenham Football Club are ready and raring to go for season 2022 where further improvement on last year will be a key focus point.
Initially commencing pre-season training at Officer due to the ongoing renovation works to its club rooms, the Lions had a slow start to its training schedule but more presence in numbers since returning for the new year has seen the club build great momentum where a focus on running and fitness has been a focal point.
The club welcomes Ben McDonald from the Cheltenham Football Netball Club who will take on a playing assistant coaching role and Brenton Wells, who won a league Best & Fairest Award at the EFNL last year.
While grateful for the handful of new recruits to his club, senior coach Ash Green will continue to place a huge emphasis on young player development at Pakenham.
“We are really fortunate in that we have a lot of young talent at the club and we want to continue their development,” Green said.
“We have one eye on recruiting new talent to the club, but we are also strongly focussed on bringing our young guys in.”
Green will once again be assisted by Shane Easton as reserves coach while Salv Melito and Rick Stalker will take charge of the Under 19’s and women’s sides.
Following two interrupted years where a full season of football could not be completed, everyone involved at Pakenham is keen to get back into football again and play out an entire season, where normality can be restored again.
“Like everyone at the club, I am excited and ready to go for the new season,” Green explained.
“I love my football and I love my Saturdays where I get to socialise with our members, family and friends, sponsors and the entire club after matches.
“We’ve trained enough so we just want to get out there and start playing!”
Embarking on a new season where clubs have been promoted to premier division, Green’s expectations for all teams across the club revolve around on-field improvement, and for all players to enjoy their football again, where strong results are hoped to follow from there.
“We expect to play as well as we can, improve from where we were last year, and enjoy each other’s company again,” he said.