KYABRAM Football Club will be trying to emulate a feat that has stood for nearly a century when it starts it’s 2018 Goulburn Valley League season with a night game at Mooroopna this Saturday.
The Bombers are striving for a hat-trick of premierships, a feat that has been achieved only once in the club’s history — way back in 1926, ’27, ’28.
In addition to that slice of history, the Bombers will also be trying to continue the league’s longest winning streak.
The Bombers have not lost a game since the 2015 grand final when beaten by Benalla and on Saturday night will be striving for its 43rd successive victory.
And the $64,000 question now begging is: Can the Bombers keep winning and can they go all the way again?
If any country side lost the services — as Kyabram has — of players of the calibre of Lachie Smith, Jake Reeves, Billy Burstin, Josh Vick and Rhys Clark and had not recruited wholesale players to replace them, it would be deemed ‘mission impossible’.
But Kyabram has had such a decisive edge on most of its rivals in the past two seasons, it could still make a good fist of another daring attack on this year’s flag.
Running players in Michael Mattingly and Bailey Bell are the most notable Kyabram recruits and coach Paul Newman teased supporters with an appearance in a recent practice game.
Premiership player Tom Sheldon is also expected to make a return to the side in June.
They are huge plusses, but despite its notable losses from last season’s line-up Kyabram still has a host of experienced and talented players to steer the ship admirably again.
Jordan Williams, Jason Morgan, Liam Ogden, Kayne Pettifer, Brad Edwards, Nick Coulstock, Sam Sheldon, Brad Mangan, Liam Barrett, Axel Childs, Aaron Hayes, Tom Holman, Kyle Mueller, Hayden Gemmill and Patrick Wearden — that’s 15 from last season’s premiership side — will all be there again.
Josh Pell, who has showed promising pre-season form, and Locky Dillon are also experienced senior players who can slot into this Kyabram side.
These players, along with the anticipated improvement of younger players in ruckman Zac Norris, Brad Whitford, Adam Lovison and talented players emerging from the thirds in Coby McCarthy, Tom Schumann, Cade Mueller and Kyle Fitzgerald should ensure there will still be red-hot competition for spots in this Kyabram side despite the notable departures.
So it seems reasonable to presume any side that beats Kyabram in 2018 will have to earn it the hard way.