Redlegs raise offensive focus in 2024

NEW Norwood coach Brad Ferrall will look to unleash his side’s scoring potential in 2024, with a greater focus on offensive ball movement in 2024. Working closely with his predecessor Brad Snell last season as opposition analyst, Ferrall is set to follow on from Norwood’s finals appearance with a touch of his own flair.

“Snelly’s a good mate of mine,” Ferrall said. “We coached we together last year and he’s certainly a lot more defensive-minded, and I like to be a bit more attacking so we’ve certainly changed the way we move the ball a little bit and removed a little bit of our safety behind the ball to try and make sure we can score a little more heavily.”

The new Redlegs coach said he was enjoying stepping up to the role, and though he was prepared how much time and commitment the job required, he has enjoyed every moment thus far.

“I’m lucky enough to coach a great group of people and it certainly makes going to the club after a long day a lot easier when you know you get to deal with some high quality people,” Ferrall said.

The Redlegs are “pretty healthy” and will have “no excuses come Friday night” when Norwood takes on reigning premiers Central District, the team that eliminated the Redlegs from last year’s finals series.

“I think we’ll get a good indication of what we’re capable of playing against the best team from last season and they’re the benchmark right now,” Ferrall said. “They’re the benchmark right now and there’s nothing that says they’re not. I’d like to think we can be around where we were last year and maybe even better than that. We certainly aim to make finals, that’s the initial goal.”

Top-age State Academy member Coby Morgan will make a move from forward to the wing following a change of personnel for the 2024 SANFL Women’s season.

“We were a bit big on front half leg speed but we’ve got some other players with some leg speed in our front half which has allowed us to move her up to the wing and hopefully she can be really damaging for us up there,” Ferrall said.

The new Norwood coach also highlighted a range of young and mature-age prospects to keep an eye on throughout the season.

Emily Bartsch … I think she can go to another level, she’s been amazing in our two trial games. She’s only in her second year of SANFL and just shows plenty,” Ferrall said. “Emma Daley a girl that is in the Under 18s State program as well, she will play down back for us. It’s just going to going to be tough competing for a spot with Molly Brooksby for the moment. She’s going to really showcase what she’s capable of as well.

Charli Hazelhurst whose bottom-age 18 this year coming off an All-Australian Under 16s season. I’m just amazed with what she does. Her biggest challenge is she’s an elite athlete in two different spots, so eventually it’s going to come down to a decision for her.”

Reigning club best and fairest winner Tahlita Buethke is another whose tearing up the track and will take her game to another level.

“We looked at her GPS numbers from training and games so far and she’s gone to a new level with her fitness as well coming off her best and fairest year so I’d expect massive things off her as well,” Buethke said.

Ferrall has a unique set up within the club, with retired Norwood defender Alison Ferrall taking the reins of the Development League side. The League coach said “for the most part” it made team selection discussions easier.

“It just means that we just lose a little bit of filter having discussions or debates because obviously it’s not like talking to another coach, we’re married so can be a little bit more blunt with each other,” Ferrall said. “But 99 per cent of the time it’s certainly a massive advantage and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Looking forward to the season ahead, Ferrall said while finals were the “realistic” goal.

“I think the competition’s going to be even and all eight teams could stake their claim as to why they should be in the finals nad try and win the premiership. But we’ve got to start somewhere with a goal and for us it’s to make that top four and go from there.”

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