BY PETER ROWE
Our NRLWA Fuel to Go and Play Premiership preview for 2023 sees us taking a look at the South Perth Lions.
By their own well admired high standards 2022 was a disappointing year for the Lions of South Perth.
An injury-ravaged season saw them bow out to North Beach early in the finals.
It wasn’t something coach Daniel Green expected a few months earlier but injuries hit the club to such as degree they used 43 players over the season in first grade football.
“It was a frustrating season,” Green admitted. “Lots of different types of injuries as well, so we couldn’t pin it down to one issue.”
So 2023 is a season Green wants to put right, mainly for those players who stuck by him through thick and thin last year.
“Yes, it would be great to give them some success for their efforts last year,” he said. “They deserve it.”
Green has been slowly building his side through the summer months in what has been a positive pre-season so far.
“Last year we were still dealing with the fallout from Covid and there were still a lot of disruptions, but this summer it’s been like ‘back to normal’.
“We’ve recruited well and welcomed back a few as well.”
The Lions have been working on defensive patterns over the past few weeks, ‘yep, that’s been our main focus,” Green admitted.
“I think most teams can score points, but where we can win games is defensively. So we’ve been working very hard on that and there’s a real good feeling around the club.”
Hooker Caleb Norton is back after missing a fair chunk of 2022 and the club has also welcomed back another old boy in Corbyn Daniels, who has been plying his trade over east in Queensland.
“We’ve had about 20 new guys rock up for preseason so there’s a lot to look at.” Green said.
Another addition is winger Joshua Adudwumaa, a Brit who has been playing in Sydney.
“Adu is a great pick up for us,” Green said. “He’s played at a decent level.”
Influential halfback Eddie Proudler has yet to make his mind up for 2023 and veteran Isaac Thomas has called it a day at the age of 40 after a magnificent career.
So Green is happy with what he has seen so far in preseason.
“We’ve had some good numbers – 40-plus some nights – so it’s all very positive.
“We’ve recruited well in the backs and we’ll be there or thereabouts.
“In 2021 we only used 23 players in first grade and it was a successful year. Last year injuries killed us, bit it’s a new year, a new season and I’m happy at what I see developing.”