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Flying start for Robins

Wednesday, 6th April, 2011

NO ILLUSIONS: West Coach Dale Tonkin talks to the team before the game. NO ILLUSIONS: West Coach Dale Tonkin talks to the team before the game.

The football season begins on Saturday and West, with their performance in the Lightning Cup, have shown that they could be contenders this year.

But according to their coach, Dale Tonkin, after struggling for so long they are under no illusions.

The Robins surprised many by winning two of the three games they played in the Lightning Cup.

"It looked positive, but they still need plenty of work. I am happy with the boys' commitment to the cause," Mr Tonkin said. "We will use this as a stepping stone.

"We are under no illusions with round one around the corner.

"I am looking forward to the real stuff."

Mr Tonkin said he was pleased with the team's work rate in last weekend's games but that the defensive skills and forward line pressure needed to be worked on.

New recruits Reuben Hayden and Brent Rose impressed the coach.

"I'm happy with their ability to slide into the structures," he said.

Club vice-president Michael McKee said the team showed a competitive streak in last Saturday's games.

"Certainly there is a lot of potential here. The competitive hard work has paid off but there is a long way to go yet."

Mr McKee said winning two out of three games in the Lightning Cup was "fantastic".

"They showed signs of improvement," he said.

Jeb Grose, who plays A grade and is a one of the leaders in the new 'Leadership Group', said winning games in the Lightning Cup had created a good feeling within the team.

"There was a real positive feeling amongst the players, although it was only a trial game and we can't take a great deal out of it," Mr Grose said.

"The best test will be next week, lining up against North."

He said he hoped West's faithful supporters might be drawn to the match after seeing the Lighting Cup results.

"The players need all the support they can get," he said.

President of the West Football Club, Wincen Cuy, said it was not all about winning and that the club was trying to start a "new era of professionalism".

West held a guernsey presentation last Saturday which Mr Cuy said was a step towards that professional approach.

"We are hoping that the players take us into the next era," he said.

He also said the club will host events to attract more people to the club.

"The club has lots of activities, a list of things including the usual balls, reunions and special events nights," Mr Cuy said.

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