Mudcrabs aiming to kick on
IT IS still almost three months before the start of the 2012 AFL Capricornia competition but clubs are getting active as they prepare for the program.
One club looking ahead with optimism is Gladstone Mudcrabs.
Gladstone has done a good job of developing young talent but has been unable to turn that achievement into success at finals time.
Last year Muddies did make the finals but were beaten by Yeppoon.
The feeling was Muddies play a nice brand of footy but did not have the experience in key positions and also a player to kick large numbers of goals.
Now the Mudcrabs has John "Animal" Beiruti.
After kicking over more than 100 goals in BITS 2011 flag winning team it was thought he would do the job again for Boyne Island.
However, that is not the case with Mudcrabs members delighted to recruit the talented footballer.
"If he scores 120 goals for us we'll be happy," joked former club vice-president Brian Travers.
It'll be tough for Beiruti as the accuracy of ball to him from BITS midfield made his job a lot easier.
However, Beiruti has a physical presence that makes him difficult to mark in the contest and he kicks the ball accurately so there is little doubt he is capable of doing a job for his new club.
Even if restricted to just half the number of goals he bagged last year, the extravagant celebrations of Beiruti will keep Muddies supporters happy.
This year the Mudcrabs have Bob Maher in charge of the A-grade team.
Another club that has done well bringing young players through its ranks is Glenmore Bulls and in 2012 Ross Borg is again in charge to guide this talented group to the next level.
The Bulls had a reasonable 2011 without really threatening to take top spot away from BITS.
Brett Motton has moved on and in his place is another former player Dale Wetzler.
In 2011 Yeppoon had a poor middle portion of the season but with the number of quality players coming through the club's ranks it should be a force again.
Expect a stronger and better disciplined Panthers team with Wayne Ling back at the helm and they too look capable of making the finals.
After winning the flag in 2010, Brothers were a pale imitation of that team last season.
Roy West moves up from reserve grade and has a hard job getting the players to once again believe in themselves.