9 April, 2024

Swifts 2024 Season Preview

A look at the Swifts 2024 season in both football and netball and a message from President Peta Folkes.

By Chris Graetz

Swifts 2024 Season Preview - feature photo

Brett Hargreaves returns to coach the Swifts in 2024 and after making the finals the last two years the team is ready to take the next step.

Hargreaves said nothing less than winning a final would be a failure with the age group being in the 20-24 year range.

"We are pushing to not only make finals, but win one this year and the pass mark for the season is winning one," Hargreaves said.

"I believe we have the team do it. We have had a young group that has slowly developed and now we are at the stage where we are ready to go."

They are buoyed by big recruits this year, headlined by Stawell Warriors duo Paul Summers and Kurt Bruechert.

Ryan Folkes has returned to the club from Great Western and as a former club best and fairest, will bolster the team whilst Chris and Liam Freeman join from Maryborough in the Bendigo Football League.

Hargreaves said they bring what they have been lacking in recent years.

"Bruechert will add vital experience to the backline and will give us the height we have been lacking and Summers up forward is going to be great for us," Hargreaves said.

"Chris Freeman is a ball winner and will provide grunt in the midfield whilst his brother Liam will give us a lot of pace.

"Folkes recently was best on the ground in the NTFL Grand Final and had a big summer in the Northern Territory for Tracy Village so he is ready to hit the ground running."

Folkes said the game style this year will be faster.

"It will be faster and more attacking," Hargreaves said.

"When they were young we taught them to defend but now you have to take the game on and play on your terms.

"With the new recruits and natural progression, we should be able to do that and it will be an exciting brand of football."

The Swifts travel to Kalkee in round one.


Sisters Amy Kenny and Kristy Dodds are coaching the A Grade this season and are excited about where the club can go this season.

Dodds has coached for many years and has brought on sister Amy to help co-coach this year as they are taking on both A and B Grade netball.

"We have played together as juniors and sometimes as seniors and I have helped Kristy unofficially on the sidelines but have come on officially this season," Kenny said.

Dodds said they suffered a lot of injuries last year but still finished the season high and are excited about this season.

"We just finished outside of finals and with all the injuries I had, that was impressive. We relied on the club as a whole with B Graders coming up to assist and the focus of the club is everyone being on the same page with plays," Dodds said.

"Overall given our injuries and outs, and having only two players play the entire season, it was impressive and if things go our way this year on the injury front and have more consistency we will play finals.

"The expectation is more consistency. It's a given that everyone wants to play finals and every week we need to play our own game to get to that end goal which is the same as everyone else."

There are a handful of new recruits this season with Darcy Crawford returning from Navarre alongside Lisa Monaghan and Bek Pye.

Michaela Carey and Erin Freeland are also returning to the club after taking a year off due to having kids.

Dodds said they all bring their unique strengths to the team.

"Lisa Monaghan will bring speed to our midcourt, Bek is a good shooter and Darcy can play forward and midfield," Dodds said.

"We are focusing a lot on thinking netball and playing towards our strengths and are looking to get out there."


President Peta Folkes is excited about the club moving forward and has highlighted they want to be a family-focused club and to develop the juniors further.

"Moving forward we want to get our junior teams up and running as they are the backbone of the club," Folkes said.

"We are struggling with the under-17 netball, but every club is and we are okay in the football juniors numbers-wise, and we are putting systems in place to help that moving forward.

"Everyone wants to win premierships and we just want to come together more and provide that family environment and go from there. Being a family club is important and that is what we strive to be."

It is also an exciting year for the Swifts as they are celebrating their 2014 senior football premiership reunion later in the year against Laharum.

"That is a big thing for the club this year. It will be a special time for the club," Folkes said.

"We will have a fair few players return to the club which will be good and it will be a great day for the club. Everyone is looking forward to it."


Most Popular