Brae’s day: Young Dog named captain

BAROSSA District footballer Brae McConnell has been appointed A-grade captain for 2018 after his predecessor, veteran Adam Spencer, stepped down from the position.
The 23-year-old has previously captained Central District at reserve and under 18 level, and will now lead the reigning Barossa, Light & Gawler A-grade premiers into the new season.
However, the Bulldogs’ centre-half-back said he doesn’t feel pressured being such a young captain.
“I have blokes around me, like Michael Bratton, who has played plenty of footy, as a vice-captain, and Todd (Miles), who is an on-field coach, who’s always directing people on game day,” he said.
“Having those blokes around me means it isn’t all that daunting.
“It’s pretty exciting though, obviously with a lot of the boys in the team who are older than me with plenty of experience, I’m honoured to take the role over.”
Coach Miles, along with assistant coach Ash Barnett and former captain Spencer, discussed who would succeed the latter before settling on McConnell.
“I know ‘Spanner’ (Spencer) was chuffed to have me take over as a young bloke,” McConnell said.
The new captain has thoroughly enjoyed his time at the club, despite having only joined at the start of the 2015 BL&G season.
“It’s an awesome place to play footy,” McConnell said.
“In the small community, Williamstown and Lyndoch aren’t that big in the scheme of the Barossa.
“The bunch of boys that we have here are awesome to play with, and we’ve been pretty successful.”
Barossa District has gone back to back following success in 2016 and 2017, and McConnell is eager to add a third premiership to the tally.
“That’s the plan, we’ve had a massive pre-season, we’ve had Matt Stelzer help us with the running side of things,” he said.
“We’ve worked harder than we ever have.
“Fitness is a massive part of what we have, our goal is to make finals and then to try and make it a three-peat.”
The Bulldogs get their year under way by hosting Freeling at Williamstown Oval.

Jack Hudson

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Growing up in Gawler, Jack has taken on a variety of journalistic roles while still studying for his Bachelor of Journalism and Creative Writing degree. He began his career at The Bunyip as a weekend football writer, before taking on roles with The Footy Budget and The Cricket Chronicle and then earning his first part-time gig at the Barossa Herald. Now returning to The Bunyip, Jack also has a keen interest in footy and soccer, as well as a passion for gaming and reading.

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