Cobden coach Levi Dare says 2017 season a success despite preliminary final defeat

BIG STAGE: Cobden's Angus Uwland kicks long in front of a big Hampden league preliminary final crowd at Reid Oval on Saturday. The Bombers crashed out of the premiership race. Picture: Rob Gunstone
BIG STAGE: Cobden's Angus Uwland kicks long in front of a big Hampden league preliminary final crowd at Reid Oval on Saturday. The Bombers crashed out of the premiership race. Picture: Rob Gunstone

COBDEN mentor Levi Dare is buoyant about the Bombers’ long-term prospects after the side claimed two finals wins in his first year at the helm.

The three-time Maskell Medal-winning ruckman gave the Bombers’ season “a big tick overall” after they fell to Koroit in the Hampden league preliminary final on Saturday.

The Bombers were on the backfoot early and never threatened the Saints, going down by 45 points at Reid Oval. 

“It is still a very good season when you look at it,” Dare said.

“(The message after the game) was to be disappointed about this but be proud of the season.

“I don’t think we were favourites in any of the finals but to play like we did and knock off two good sides (in North Warrnambool Eagles and South Warrnambool) and knock them off quite comfortably was big for us.”

Dare, who suffered a spiderbite to his left hand on Friday and felt lethargic after half-time, said Cobden was confident of retaining its list and would recruit to fill voids. The club has already signed versatile tall Paul Hinkley for the 2018 season and will speak to other former Bombers about returning.

He said the Bombers had room to move with their points cap.

“We’ve definitely got some contacts with some handy players who aren’t from Cobden too,” he said.

“Hopefully we can pinch a few – we don’t need too many because we showed the sort of footy we can play the two weeks before this.”

Dare rated Koroit the competition’s best, tipping it to win next week’s grand final.