New plan for Pies

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Busselton Magpies Harry Curtin was one of 16 colts to play league this year
Camera IconBusselton Magpies Harry Curtin was one of 16 colts to play league this year Credit: Sophie Elliott

The Busselton Magpies blooded 16 colts players in 2019 prompting incoming league coach Dave Lewis to say the Pies will aim to be a young quick side that focused on full-ground defence in 2020.

The three-time Landmark colts premiership coach said his tough defensive game plan would take some adjusting to for the run-and-gun Pies.

His experience as the Busselton colts coach has ensured a strong connection with most of the 2020 league squad but he said every player would earn a league game.

The Magpies were narrowly defeated by Harvey Brunswick Leschenault in extra time of the reserves grand final with young midfielder Dylan Patterson named best on ground.

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Busselton’s colts also came second in the regular season but fell to a South Bunbury side who had several East Perth colts players return for the preliminary final.

Even with this depth the Magpies league side finished eighth, four wins short of making the finals, despite a reasonable percentage and an encouraging end to the year.

“We will have a strong squad but it depends on how hard the young boys train during the pre-season. We’re a hard-running side but we’re aiming at teaching the younger players team defence,” Lewis said.

“It’s hard with younger players because they can get caught ball watching, you have to be disciplined and communicate.”

Lewis said a part of that team defence would be the unveiling of a zone-running pattern with the Pies confident this tweak to their game plan will result in a return to the finals.

League Best First Year Player Troyden Thorpe was a revelation in the final five games of the season kicking several goals from his tough style of play off the half-forward flank and wing.

“Troyden really established himself this year and we’re looking for more young guys to progress from the colts to play mature footy like that,” Lewis said.

Colts best and fairest Jackson Thomas and runner up Thomas Scott will also push for league games if they choose to overlook opportunities to play in Perth.

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