Altona set for State League in 2017
The Altona Lacrosse Club recently announced that they will compete in the 2017 Men's State League Competition.
Lacrosse Victoria's River Bradley spoke with the Vikings Head Coach, Mark Lewer, who gave his thoughts on the promotion.
RB: What has prompted Altona's move to State League?
ML: We have some excellent young players and with an average age of 21 for the SL team, we intend to use this year for development and hopefully lay the foundation for a very good side in a few years' time. We are under no illusions as to how tough SL will be but we need to be resilient, manage our expectations, stick to our game plan and set achievable goals as individual players and as a team.
There is a lot of exciting young talent at Altona. Who will be the Vikings to watch in 2017?
In attack, Campbell Mackinnon is a rare talent and Jasper Hanna-Roberts just continues to improve. We have good mobile defenders in Nick Burgess, Daniel Fraser, Malcolm MacGregor and Troy Van Groen. In the centre Lachlan McDonald will be competitive.
Moreland's newly promoted State League team had quite a successful 2016, missing the Finals by two wins. Does their performance give you confidence looking forward?
It shows that if you play to your strengths and stick to your game plan you can be competitive. We too have a game plan based around our strengths and we know this is just the first step in a longer term goal.
Altona's last season in State League was 2010, what does a return to State League mean for the club?
It is a significant challenge for the club. Hopefully, the Altona SL players will be able to take their games to a higher level. In a few years' time we hope these players will be able to pass on their experience to the exciting youngsters we currently have in Under 15, Under 13 and Under 11. Playing SL in 2017 is not an end in itself, it is just a beginning.
Altona celebrate their Division 1 Grand Final triumph over Williamstown in 2016. Photo: Lacrosse Pix