AFTER winning just one game in last year’s Barossa, Light & Gawler football season, Freeling Football Club is under no illusions of grandeur.
However, some big-name signings for 2017 could certainly help the Redlegs add more victories to their tally this year.
The addition of Central District premiership player Scott Dutschke was big news for the club, but the recruitment of Tea Tree Gully spearheads Adam Cockshell, Josh Hand and siblings Adam and Luke Williams has the Redlegs’ faithful even more hopeful.
Ruckman Cockshell played a number of AFL and SANFL games with Port Adelaide, plus SANFL matches with Norwood and South Adelaide.
Midfielder Hand has won the SA amateur league division one best and fairest medal on two separate occasions, in 2012 while playing for Gepps Cross, and with the Gullies in 2015.
Meanwhile, the Williams brothers notched up almost 400 senior games between them at Tea Tree Gully, with defender Adam also playing for Norwood for six years.
Luke and Adam have had two seasons off, but both said they are keen to get back into it with Freeling.
“I saw Scott was coaching and I liked that. I expected it might be like how Scott handled himself onfield – a tough footballer,” Adam said.
The 32-year-old running defender said Dutschke has placed a strong focus on fitness during the off-season, and hopes to play finals this year.
“I’ve heard (the Barossa, Light & Gawler Football Association) is a pretty tough league, there are a few good ex-AFL and SANFL players running around,” Adam said.
“We’re definitely aiming for finals – we’re trying to get fit and take it to them.”
Half-forward/midfielder Luke, who is known for getting in and under, brings a toughness to the Redlegs’ game and said the team’s aim this year is simple.
“We just want to improve on last year,” he said.
“Everyone’s been really good here, they’re all good to get along with.”
Freeling president Dominic Shepley said the squad is looking towards turning the club around after finishing bottom, or close to, in most grades in 2016.
“There’s a real keenness to making Freeling competitive,” he said.
“(The recruits) cover the depth we’ve been lacking.
“There’s no secret to it – the balance between experience, locals, a few recruits and juniors coming through, and trying to find a balance that allows that side to evolve, with all those parts contributing, (is key).”