Thunder ready to go

Thomas Burnside (Jacob Pattison)336752_06

East Sunbury can’t wait for the Essendon District Football League division 2 season to get underway.

Under new coach Travis Bishop, the Thunder has changed things up to try and help bridge the gap between it and the rest of the competition.

Bishop said the pre-season had been really good so far.

“We’ve changed a few things up,” he said. “I’ve added a couple of guys as assistant coaches in David Morrice and Steve Atherton.

“We’re all fairly similar minded and we’ve done a lot of fitness in all the programs. Last year we had a huge injury list and I think that was partly due to the pre-season.

“We’ve changed it up with Dave on board to help with the strength side as well as fitness.”

Bishop said they had already started getting into the game plan and how they wanted to play early, to ensure they were all on the same page.

He said they wanted that to flow from the seniors through to the reserves and under-18.5s, which are returning this season.

It’s been a busy off season in terms of recruiting for the club, with Bishop keen to get some more depth into the squad.

“Dave is a strong bull in the middle,” Bishop said. “He’s well known in the area and has connections with other players.

“Jaxon Madden has come from Warrnambool, where he played at a high level. We picked him up through a friend, who told him to give me a call.”

Brandon Yankovski, Sean Egan, Matt Krul, Jack Barnes and Brandon Brancatisano are among the other new signings.

Bishop has installed a new leadership group, headed by Mitch Church, who will captain the team this year.

“Mitch is an awesome bloke on and off the field,” he said. “I’ve got a meeting with the boys next week and we’re looking at having a no blame culture, solutions along.

“We want to have player accountability.”

The Thunder resume pre-season training on January 29 and Bishop can’t wait to get back out there with the group.

And if the signs he’s seen over the break are anything to go by, the playing group feels the same.

“I live across the road and I’ve seen groups of 10 or so training in the off season, boys are pretty keen

“Working hard is part of the preparation. I’m excited for us this season. It’s my first senior coaching role and I really want to give the club the best I can give them for the club to thrive.”

The Thunder starts its season on April 13 against Westmeadows.