Rheed McCracken.
Rheed McCracken. Mike Knott BUN240916ATHLETICS16

Dozen fearless predictions for Bundy sport this year

Welcome to the new year and a chance for you to either continue a stellar 2018 into this year or make amends for a poor one.

The same applies to sport in Bundaberg with teams and players either looking to continue good form or bounce back.

So what will 2019 hold?

I predict five things today, which will happen this year with another seven to be revealed online and in tomorrow's paper.

1. Turtles' run ends in the Spring Cup

All good sporting runs must come to an end at some stage and I feel the Turtles Brothers might have it happen this year.

The Bundaberg Pythons have gotten close the past two seasons in the grand final and the Bundaberg West Barbarians have improved from last year.

Turtles Brothers celebrate their eighth straight premiership win.
Turtles Brothers celebrate their eighth straight premiership win. Shane Jones

I expect one of them to stop the Turtles from winning a ninth straight premiership.

2. Three Aussies qualify for the Tokyo Olympics

Bundaberg didn't have anyone compete in the last Olympic games in Rio but I expect that to change this year.

Aaron Kleinschmidt and Rebecca Greiner are both part of the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos teams, which will aim to qualify for the games at the Oceania Cup in Rockhampton later this year.

The teams should qualify with both likely to be on the plane to Tokyo next year.

HOCKEY: Aaron Kleinschmidt at the coaching clinic held at Hinkler Park.
HOCKEY: Aaron Kleinschmidt at the coaching clinic held at Hinkler Park. Mike Knott BUN221217HOCKEY8

Bundaberg's discus thrower Taryn Gollshewsky will start her qualification campaign later this year as well and I expect her to get the distance required to compete at her first games.

3. Mason Barbera competes in the Bathurst 1000

No Bundaberg driver has ever competed at the greatest race in Australian motorsport.

Mason Barbera, Oliver Aquasanta and Max Aquasanta at The Waves for the supercar event.
Mason Barbera, Oliver Aquasanta and Max Aquasanta at The Waves for the supercar event. Mike Knott BUN020718SUPERCARS1

Bundaberg's Mason Barbera has a chance to do that and I believe he will.

There is a spot available in the Garry Rogers Motorsport team for the event as a co-driver and if Barbera performs well, he can land it.

It could be a historic year.

4. Buccaneers to finally secure a coveted point in the Football Queensland Premier League

The Wide Bay Buccaneers failed to gain a draw or win in their debut season.

Somewhere, somehow, it will change this year with the senior side gaining its first point in the competition.

Andrew Butler of Souths United fends off Steven Rankin of the Wide Bay Buccaneers
Andrew Butler of Souths United fends off Steven Rankin of the Wide Bay Buccaneers Brian Cassidy

The side will do enough under new coach Karl Herdle to get some joy.

5. Josh Brillante heads overseas

Bundaberg's Josh Brillante headed overseas in 2014 to play for Fiorentina and stayed in Italy for two years before coming back home in 2016.

This year he will head back overseas after his contract ends with Sydney FC.

Ronald Vargas of the Jets competes for the ball with Josh Brillante of Sydney FC during the Round 4 A-League match between the Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Saturday, November 10, 2018. (AAP Image/Darren Pateman) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Ronald Vargas of the Jets competes for the ball with Josh Brillante of Sydney FC during the Round 4 A-League match between the Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle, Saturday, November 10, 2018. (AAP Image/Darren Pateman) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY DARREN PATEMAN

Brillante has achieved all he needs to do in Australia and in the A-League and his performances aren't getting selection for the Socceroos.

It almost makes sense for him to give it another crack overseas and at least test the waters again.

6. Easts to make grand final in A-grade

The club has made plenty of moves in the off-season, primed at ending the Magpies 13-year drought of premierships in A-grade.

Easts have signed Trent Seeds, Tyrell Howard, Chris Ford and Jackson Paulsen from The Waves and Matt Craven from Isis.

Those five were among the best in the competition or been the best in the past three years.

Tyrell Howard attempts to run the ball after the fifth tackle
Tyrell Howard attempts to run the ball after the fifth tackle Brian Cassidy

Most also have premiership success.

The five players should lead Easts higher up the ladder and will almost start the season as premiership favourites.

The side is almost a lock for the grand final this year with those five playing and the other talent at the club.

7. The Waves dominate in division 1 cricket

The Waves won the NewsMail Cup last month and is on track to secure both the division 1 titles in T20 and the premiership.

The side is in the T20 final already and the premiership final spot should be secured in the next fortnight.

They have been the best side this season and I expect that to continue in both finals, with The Waves securing both.

TO THE BOUNDARY: The Waves' Luke Owen sends the ball, with one bounce, to the fence.
TO THE BOUNDARY: The Waves' Luke Owen sends the ball, with one bounce, to the fence. Brian Cassidy

The Waves have only lost to Brothers and Norths with the loss to last year's premiers only coming without more than half of their squad due to representative commitments.

It could be a yellow and blue season in cricket.

8. McCracken breaks his gold drought

2019 will be the year Rheed McCracken finally beats Walid Ktila to claim gold at either a World Titles or a Paralympics.

The world record holder has been able to beat Ktila away from those events but this year will be the year it happens at a major event.

November will be a historic month for Bundaberg.

9. Bundaberg to prevail again in Wide Bay Premier League again

The Wide Bay Premier League has been won by Bundaberg since it started under that name in 2016 with three different teams claiming the crown.

Expect that to continue this year.

The Hervey Bay sides, the United Warriors and KSS Jets, don't seem capable of mounting a serious challenge and Maryborough's Sunbury need to recruit well to aid the best striker in the competition in Anthony Mollee.

The best chance looks to come from fellow Maryborough side Doon Villa but can they match the Bundaberg sides?

Bingera, the defending champions, look to have most of their squad staying with Brothers Aston Villa in the same position.

The winners of the Wide Bay League Grand Final in 2018, the Bingera Football Club.
The winners of the Wide Bay League Grand Final in 2018, the Bingera Football Club. Brian Cassidy

Bargara will look to improve after making the finals for the first time with The Waves looking to bounce back.

Don't forget about the United Park Eagles either who have recruited a good coach in Scott Bretag.

Regardless of who performs well out of the five, the title is staying in Bundy.

10. Kel Treseder to win Aussie Racing Car title

Treseder has the most wins, the most pole positions and has had the fastest car in the Aussie Racing Car series for the past three years but no title to his name.

2019 will change that with Treseder winning in the 20th year of the category.

Bundaberg's Kel Treseder competes at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Bundaberg's Kel Treseder competes at Sydney Motorsport Park. Darin Mandy

He will follow in the same footsteps of his mate, Scott McLaughlin, who won last year's Supercars title after being so close for the past couple of years.

11. The Waves to bounce back in AFL Wide Bay

The Waves were the last Bundaberg team to win an AFL Wide Bay title in 2016 and this year they will go close again to winning.

The problem with the side has been getting players committed to training and building core fitness to compliment the players skills.

The off-season has seen the club completely transform with players committing and solid numbers involved.

AFL ACTION: The Waves Michael Sommer Liverton at Frank Coulthard Oval
AFL ACTION: The Waves Michael Sommer Liverton at Frank Coulthard Oval Mike Knott BUN050518AFL6

It will yield big results and a grand final spot for the side.

12. Felise Kaufusi and Coen Hess to remain in Maroons team

Queensland Maroons coach Kevin Walters said both boys are vital to his squad as he prepares to smash the Cockroaches this year.

I agree.

Felise Kaufusi
Felise Kaufusi Bradley Kanaris

Kaufusi is one of the leading players in the competition and Hess will improve on last year as he gets more accustomed to the NRL in his third full season.

Both will be picked in game one.



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