Lakers tough start

Jamie Ristoski (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Tara Murray

Caroline Springs was made to pay for its turnovers in the opening round of the Western Football League division 1 season.

The Lakers hosted Yarraville-Seddon on Saturday and were in the game for much of the first half.

After half time it was all the Eagles, kicking nine goals to one to run away with a 17.15 (117)-6.9 (45) win.

Lakers football manager Shaun Rainer said it was disappointing way to start the season

“We knew it was going to be a challenge,” he said. “They are a tough side and they had a good year last year and they picked up a couple of good players.

“We had a couple of late outs with VFL [Victorian Football League] so we went in a bit younger than we would have liked.

“We had two under-18s and two nearly promoted out of under-18s, which left us a bit inexperienced.”

Rainer said the biggest issue for them in the game was the number of turnovers. He said while he hadn’t looked at the stats, the Eagles would have scored off a large number of them.

“They had a good start and got goals off our turnovers,” he said. “We were able to regroup through the middle part but they then got on top of us.

“We were coughing up the ball, not just the young kids. It became a little infectious.”

It was all single goal kickers for the Lakers.

Keenan O’Shea, Alexander Paech and Ryan Allan were named their best.

After missing finals last season, Rainer said they hadn’t had the off season they would have liked in terms of recruiting.

“Recruiting wise it has been challenging,” he said. “We spoke to a hell of a lot of players.

“Recruiting wise we didn’t get as many as we would have liked.”

“We’ve got a few boys back like Mitch Bongiovanni, who missed the majority of last year with a knee injury.

“It was his first game back on the weekend and he got better as the game went along.

Rainer said they had plenty of young talent coming through the club and were keen to get them into the senior side.

He said it was making sure they were given the opportunities at the right time.

“There are a good bunch of kids and they will make mistakes,” he said. “We’d rather put them in slowly, then through them in the deep end.”

The Lakers this Saturday face Hoppers Crossing.

Rainer said it would be another big challenge.

“They have recruited really well in the off season,” he said. “They went down to Spotty [Spotswood] on the weekend, but looks like they came back into the game in the second half.

“The competition is really even this year, you go into each week knowing it will be a challenge.”

Meanwhile in division 2, the Western Rams started its WFL life with a big loss to Newport.

Newport got the win, 21.21 (147)-5.5 (35).