Bingera Football Club, 2018.
Bingera Football Club, 2018. Brian Cassidy

What will happen this season in the Wide Bay Premier League

FOOTBALL: Welcome to the new season of the Wide Bay Premier League, which promises to be one of the closest in years.

The addition of the Wide Bay Buccaneers and Granville counter-balance the loss of Bargara, which is a shame for football fans in Bundaberg. But I'm told, in confidence, the side will be back next season.

So let's look towards the new year, which starts today.

The competition on paper looks stronger, with Fraser Coast sides adding well following the return of players from the Buccaneers and its Football Queensland Premier League campaign.

I expect Fraser Coast to put up a stern test to Bundy as it aims to win the competition for the first time under its current name of the Wide Bay Premier League.

But Bundaberg will start as favourites.

Bingera have retained most of its squad, with Brothers Aston Villa doing the same.

Finally, The Waves look to be back after a poor 2018, with the United Park Eagles recruiting well and gaining a respectable coach in Scott Bretag.

Find out my predictions for each side for the upcoming season below.

The Waves

COACH: John Brillante

CAPTAIN: Callim Hillier

The Waves player Callum Hillier dribbles the ball against the United Warriors in a friendly.
The Waves player Callum Hillier dribbles the ball against the United Warriors in a friendly.

INS: Sam Meyer (Buccaneers), Jacob Trudgian

OUTS: Jack Brillante, Warrick Stuart

Shane Jones' thoughts: Had a very impressive off-season, making the Triple M Cup final and being unbeated in friendlies. I sense this team is out for plenty of redemption after missing the finals last year. I expect them to bounce back and do it in style, with first place. The team is capable of winning it all and John Brillante is one of the best coaches in the competition.

Position: 1st

Brothers Aston Villa

COACH: Glen Sparozvich

CAPTAIN: Josh McInnes (pictured)

FULL STRETCH: Brothers Aston Villas Joshua Mcinnes reaches for the ball at the Brothers Sports Complex in Bundaberg.
FULL STRETCH: Brothers Aston Villas Joshua Mcinnes reaches for the ball at the Brothers Sports Complex in Bundaberg. Paul Donaldson BUN060517FOOT1

INS: Lachlan Scarborough, Cohen Read, Alec Rohdmann

OUTS: Cory Holzberger, Craig Zielke, Nathan Carney, James Stromquist

Shane Jones' thoughts: Have lost a lot of talent but signed handy players to replace them. Michael Stayte and Jarryd Bennier are still at the club and both combined for 32 goals last season. If both deliver that result again this season, Villa will be hard to beat. Should be around the premiership mark again.

Position: 2nd

Sunbury

COACH: Not revealed

CAPTAIN: Anthony Mollee (pictured)

Sunbury's Anthony Mollee. Wide Bay League Rd 18: Sunbury v KSS Jets at Maryborough Cricket Club.
Sunbury's Anthony Mollee. Wide Bay League Rd 18: Sunbury v KSS Jets at Maryborough Cricket Club. Matthew McInerney

INS: Jacob Chapman, Bradley Mitchell, Michael Armstrong, Daniel Bennett

OUTS: Not revealed

Shane Jones' thoughts: The Maryborough based side has the leading goal scorer in the past few seasons and has added strongly in defence with Wide Bay Buccaneer Jacob Chapman returning. I expect the club to bounce back from finals despair last year to make it. They will be the best side in the Heritage City.

Position: 3rd

Bingera

COACH: Andrew Donnison

CAPTAIN: Not revealed by club

INS: Not revealed by club

OUTS: Brad Blackwell (pictured)

Bingera's Brad Blackwell. Wide Bay Premier League: Doon Villa v Bingera at Villa Park, Maryborough.
Bingera's Brad Blackwell. Wide Bay Premier League: Doon Villa v Bingera at Villa Park, Maryborough. Matthew McInerney

Shane Jones' thoughts: The premiers return but can they go back-to-back? The answer is yes but it will be tougher than last year. The side have lost a couple of players and are relying on their experienced older brigade to get the job done. I sense the side will slip a little this year but certainly will make the finals. Will be hard to beat in Bundy and that will help them a lot.

Position: 4th

United Park Eagles

COACH: Scott Bretag

CAPTAIN: Club didn't reveal

INS: Justin Ryan, Brad Blackwell, Joel Porch

FFA Cup - United Park Eagles (Black) v Wide Bay Buccaneers (Blue) - Joel Porch.
FFA Cup - United Park Eagles (Black) v Wide Bay Buccaneers (Blue) - Joel Porch. Cody Fox

OUTS: None mentioned

Shane Jones' thoughts: The United Park Eagles will be one of the big improvers this year from seventh last year. But will it be good enough for finals? I'm leaning towards no. The club has recruited well but there are other sides that I sense will be better over the season. The side can absolutely make finals and are one of about seven clubs that can but the team will fall short.

Position: 5th

Doon Villa

COACH: Steve Bates

CAPTAIN: Joel Neilsen (pictured)

Doon Villa's Joel Nielsen. Wide Bay League Rd 14: Sunbury v Doon Villa at Maryborough Cricket Club.
Doon Villa's Joel Nielsen. Wide Bay League Rd 14: Sunbury v Doon Villa at Maryborough Cricket Club. Matthew McInerney

INS: Not revealed by club

OUTS: Not revealed by club

Shane Jones' thoughts: I think the side falls back to the pack this season, considering what other sides have done with their recruitment. Bundaberg is a tougher proposition this season with the improvement of UPE, The Waves and Bingera and Brothers Aston Villa staying consistent. Combine that with Sunbury and the KSS Jets improving and I feel Doon Villa will struggle to make the finals.

Position: 6th

KSS Jets

COACH: Phil Rimmer

CAPTAIN: Jarrod Best (pictured)

Wide Bay Premier League player of the year, Jarrod Best (KSS Jets).
Wide Bay Premier League player of the year, Jarrod Best (KSS Jets). Matthew McInerney

INS: Matt Capello, John Cullen, Jacob Lynch, Jackson Dunn, Blake Walker, Shaun Mitchell, Jordan Dowden, Jarrod Hubbard

OUTS: Alex Webb

Shane Jones' thoughts: Could be another that surprise a lot of teams this season. Have recruited well, taking a lot of Buccaneers players that left the club. Still feel they will fall short of the finals but expect the Jets to have their best season in a couple of years and win at least six matches.

Position: 7th

United Warriors

COACH: David Patterson

CAPTAIN: Hamish Perkin

United's Jacob Lynch and Brad Mitchell. Wide Bay League grand final: United Warriors v The Waves at Hervey Bay Sports Club.
United's Jacob Lynch and Brad Mitchell. Wide Bay League grand final: United Warriors v The Waves at Hervey Bay Sports Club. Matthew McInerney

INS: Not revealed by club

OUTS: Not revealed by club

Shane Jones' thoughts: Struggled the past two seasons since making the final in 2016 (pictured) and I have a feeling it might be the same for the third year in a row. The club revealed that it was a completely new team with experienced and young players. Will be interesting to see how they go but with the way other teams have recruited, I'm not sure the Warriors can do well and play finals.

Position: 8th

Wide Bay Buccaneers

COACH: Karl Herdle

CAPTAIN: Not revealed by club

INS: Drew Boylan, James Stronquist (pictured)

Brothers Aston Villa's James Stromquist battles Sunbury's Tyson Bedford for the ball.
Brothers Aston Villa's James Stromquist battles Sunbury's Tyson Bedford for the ball. Shane Jones

OUTS: Jacob Chapman, Brad Mitchell, John Cullen, Jacob Lynch

Shane Jones' thoughts: There will be some moments of joy for the Buccaneers this season, particularly when the club wins its first ever game and gains its first points in any senior competition. But that will be it. The side struggled in the Football Queensland Premier League and with the team it has will have a challenge in the Wide Bay Premier League as well.

Position: 9th

Granville

COACH: Josh Halley

CAPTAIN: Scott Thomsen (pictured)

INS: Not revealed by club

OUTS: Not revealed by club

Granville's Scott Thomsen celebrates a score-levelling goal which was later disallowed. Fraser Coast League: Granville v KSS Jets at Federation Park Field, Maryborough.Photo Matthew McInerney  / Fraser Coast Chronicle
Granville's Scott Thomsen celebrates a score-levelling goal which was later disallowed. Fraser Coast League: Granville v KSS Jets at Federation Park Field, Maryborough.Photo Matthew McInerney / Fraser Coast Chronicle Matthew McInerney

Shane Jones' thoughts: It's really nice to see a new club enter the top competition for the first time. But I'm not sure how Granville will go in the competition. Didn't really dominate in the Wide Bay League 2 last season and this is another step up. I feel the side will really struggle and this year will be a development year. I hope they go well and build towards being a permanent member of the competition.

Position: 10th



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