9 April, 2024

Kaniva Leeor 2024 Season Preview

A look at Kaniva Leeor's 2024 season in both football and netball and a message from President Bradley Dickinson.

By Chris Graetz

Kaniva Leeor 2024 Season Preview - feature photo

In 2024, improvement is the focus of the Kaniva Leeor Senior Football Team. Jonno Hicks returns as coach after taking over last year as an interim coach and with a lot of young locals around the club, there is plenty to look forward to.

Winning five games last year, the Cougars have recruited a couple of players and have kept a similar group to last year, mainly youth-focused.

Jack Simpson, a former local, is returning to the club after playing in South Australia and they have recruited Terrel Rigney from the Adelaide Football League. Rigney played in Ingle Farm's premiership last year and will add grunt through the midfield.

Hicks said that he wants to see improvement in the group.

"I want to see some improvement. This year is more about the process than the results and getting the system right," Hicks said.

"Last year in games we dropped away in passages and had lapses, but we were competitive in parts and want to see a more consistent performance.

"We were defensive last year and under the pump a lot. I am encouraging the boys to take it on and attack and move the ball. We won plenty of the football but turned it over and just need to find easier avenues."

Hicks said their leadership group consisting of co-captains Jock Maddern and Billy King, vice captain Hamish Bennett, as well as Luke Bennett and Charlie Maddern are setting the standard.

"They have done well over the summer and are helping the young guys that are coming through," he said.

When asked which younger guy he thinks will take a big stride this year, Hicks said Patrick Munn is exciting.

"Patrick will be stepping up in the forward line and he is a really exciting player," Hicks said.

"He showed glimpses last year and he could breakout this year."

The Cougars open their season at home against Natimuk.


After failing to field a side in A-Grade last season, the Cougars netballers are back in the top grade and are looking forward to the season ahead.

They are coached by Kylie King and will boast a similar team that made it into the preliminary finals in the B Grade last year.

Nikki Hawker is returning to the club as well as Zoe Hawker and that will significantly boost the team.

King said they made it a focus to recruit early last year when they knew they couldn't field a side.

"Right from when the season started we set about recruiting and getting people back into the sport that have left the sport," King said.

"We are rebuilding and creating a great club culture to where we can now easily fill a team.

"We are showing strength across the board and have a great attacking end with accurate goalies and lots of strength through the midcourt and we are looking like a strong side."

King said building on last year is a focus.

"We want to build on the strength of what we found last year," King said.

"Playing in B Grade last year, we played against teams with a similar level to us and that meant that we could taste success and learn to win again and improve on our skills and I think that will now carry to A Grade.

"It was a confidence-building year last year and the girls have grown a lot from last year and it will be good to see them grow and play against tougher opposition."

There is a lot of excitement around the courts on what the team could do this year.

"Now that we are playing against tougher competition, I believe we have the talent to be up there and push for finals," King said.

"We just want to build on the success from last year and push forward and hopefully we can make finals and go from there."


Club President Bradley Dickinson is excited about the season ahead and said the numbers are good in both football and netball.

"Netball numbers are really good this year. Unfortunately, we can't field an under 17 due to kids going to boarding school," Dickinson said.

"In football, that takes some kids away from the under 17s and the top age under 14s.

"Our under 14s narrowly lost the grand final last year and we have some of those kids moving into the under 17s."

Off the field, Kaniva Leeor has received a grant of $250,000 which will improve the sporting facilities. Dickinson said it will go towards new lights and a new scoreboard.

"The lighting at the oval isn't that great. There are a few dead pockets which is hard to train in at night so we are a little bit right for space," he said.

"As for the scoreboard, we are getting a new one installed so things are looking great for the club."


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