FIRST INTERVIEW: The Bombers appoint 2019 coach
AUSSIE RULES: Hervey Bay Bombers will keep the same formula that went within one game of delivering a long-awaited AFL Wide Bay flag.
Darren Hunter was last night revealed as the man to steer the Bombers in 2019.
It will be the third season in four years Hunter coached the senior side, but it could be the one that delivers his first title as the club's coach in a decade.
Hunter revealed he would have most of his minor premiership-winning roster next season, and while disappointed with reigning premier Gympie's departure for a neighbouring competition, he was optimistic of the Bombers' chances.
"It takes the competition back to four teams if Maryborough don't field a team, and this year it was exciting to have that mix of teams,” he said.
"We'll work with what we've got. Those six under-18s players will be even better after their experience and things are looking good with other guys.
"That grand final probably galvanises us. There's half a dozen blokes who let themselves down and want to get back out there and win it.”
The Bombers lost to a fast-starting Gympie outfit going down by 31 points at Norm McLean Oval. The result stung Bombers players, particularly the veterans of the 2014 grand final, when the Bombers lost the decider at their home ground to Across The Waves. Hunter started pre-season with a flag as his focus.
"Ultimately that's the goal, but it's going to be interesting to see how the other teams line up,” Hunter said. "The Bulldogs will be even better this year, Waves will recruit well and Bay Power will be interesting to see.”
You don't have to wait until next season for Aussie rules action, as Hervey Bay Hockey fields host AFL 9s on the Bay tomorrow.