KNTFL clubs are wasting no time in planning for the 2018 season.
Several clubs have already appointed coaches and lined up key recruits for next year despite the 2017 season finishing just weeks ago.
LUCINDALE (1st in 2017) is keeping tight-lipped on the upcoming season, yet to name a playing coach for its premiership defence. Sam Logan did the job this year as a mostly non-playing coach who played reserves and some A grade games.
However, Roos president Phil Clarke said at this stage it seems most of the premiership team will stay together, adding they’re “looking for a ruckman.”
MUNDULLA (2nd) is yet to confirm its senior coach for 2018, but club official John Burgess said he suspected Tim Williams would maintain his position as non-playing coach after taking the Moots to the minor premiership and a grand final appearance in 2017.
PENOLA (3rd) is looking for a new coach after highly credentialled gun forward Adam Merrett indicated his wish to step down after several years in charge and a premiership in 2016. Merrett’s playing future is not yet known.
KEITH (4th) is yet to name its senior coach for 2018, but there’s exciting news coming out of the Crows nest.
The 2015 league medallist and goal kicking machine Ben Simounds is heading back to Keith after playing at Strathalbyn for a couple of seasons.
“It will be fantastic – (Simounds) is an exciting player and a great club person,” Keith president Kim Wilson said.
The Crows were this year coached by travelling former SANFL player Gavin Hughes, who was an impressive leader despite having an injury interupted season.
KYBYBOLITE (5th) has reappointed Tim Leehane as non-playing coach after he took the Tigers to a losing grand final and fifth spot in his first two seasons in charge. The club is yet to finalise assistants or incoming/outoing players but midfielder Nathan Stark, who was runner-up best and fairest this season, has reportedly signed with Border Downs Tintinara in the Mallee league.
PADTHAWAY (6th) two-time premiership player Scott Welsh will return to the Lions’ den as coach.
The ace former AFL goalkicker spent three seasons with Padthaway in 2014-16 before playing at Tailem Bend in the River Murray league in 2017.
He replaces non-playing coach Adam Jeffries, who took the Lions to back-to-back flags in 2014-15 in his four-year stint as coach.
KANIVA/LEEOR UNITED (7th) has reappointed Nick Murphy playing coach for a third season.
President Jason Gordon said the committee, players and supporters were “over the moon” to secure Murphy’s signature.
“This is the direction (we want to go in) and everyone can see it,” he said.
The Cougars have not yet announced which of their gun travelling recruits will be returning.
NARACOORTE (8th) is yet to appoint a senior coach for the upcoming season, but president Brendon Ross said he hopes the club will retain its playing group and can pick up a couple of handy recruits.
The coach of the past couple of seasons, Brett Gould, has indicated he will step down.
KINGSTON (9th) has confirmed 2017 coach Brad Richardson will carry on the role, but other coaching and player details are still being worked on.
BORDERTOWN (10th) has recruited Cam Sandercock from Border Districts – the regular interleague ruckman/key forward will take on the playing coach role for the Roosters.
Sandercock replaces non-playing Simon Trenorden, who coached the side to a 10th place finish in 2017, and club official Andrew Smedley said he hopes the club can recruit some “ex-locals” back to the red and white.
The Roosters lost a large number of players from 2016 and slipped down the ladder from the top five to 10th.
BORDER DISTRICTS (11th) were coached in 2017 by non-playing coach Darrin Wilson, who brought with him a large number of recruits from the Adelaide area. The club’s plans for 2018 haven’t been announced, but top player and previous coach Cam Sandercock has left to coach Bordertown.