Posted on Thursday 8th April, 2021


For North Footscray coach David Battistella, this year’s pre-season has been about reacquainting himself with the league and getting to know playing group.

He said his break from coaching, pre-Covid, has reinvigorated his passion for the game and was looking forward to getting back involved with the WRFL.

“I’ve been involved with Supers for the past few years, but I did need a break from being a head coach. My passion for coaching has always been there, but I had coached for 13 of the past 14 years and needed a break,” he said.

“I have a good rapport with the players and good relationships with other clubs. We have really enjoyed pre-season. Certainly, when that first ball was bounced in the practice game, it felt like we were back.”

Battistella said it will be a new look North Footscray team that takes the field in Round 1.

“There will be a lot of new players,” he said.

“From the 2019 group there will probably be half-a-dozen players left. We have had a big turnover of players, but we have also had some players return from oversees.”

North Footscray played Werribee Centrals in their final practice game.

“They did beat us, they are a strong team and you can tell they have played footy together for a long time,” Battistella said.

“Our depth was tested, we had to get three ressies players to play in the second half due to injuries.

“But I am believer that practice matches don’t give a real indication of where you are at. It was good to see the players play under pressure – you learn a lot more when you are getting beat then when you are winning I think. It was good to see where our fitness and attitude was at.”

The Devils will take on Albion in Round 1 of the Prestige Group Real Estate Division 2 competition on April 10.

“I think it is going to be a lot harder to predict this season,” Battistella said.

“We have built a group over the past two years, but we haven’t played together, so there is an unknown, but that is also exciting.

“All going well, we will go into Round 1 with our strongest side so far.”