Chris Vernuccio
Lilydale and Yarra Valley Leader

 Wallace was not prepared to assess whether he had a better team at his disposal than in 2007 but said he liked what he had seen on the training court.
   So much so, Wallace, in his fifth year as men’s coach, is optimistic the Cobras can turn last year’s runner-up finish into a championship-winning campaign.
   “Last year, on paper, the squad looked really good,” Wallace said.
   “But, we couldn’t get it together until the finals series, really.
   “This year, the imports are out here earlier, our preparation has been good and we seem to be on the same page.
   “The guys have all come back in good shape and with great hunger.”
   Wallace said the Cobras’ off-season recruiting drive delivered everything he wanted.
   Kilsyth’s import spots have been filled by Zach Malvik and Joe Werner.
   The Cobras have also signed former-Kilsyth juniors Gerard Leonard and Aaron Littlepage.
   “We identified a couple of things last year that we didn’t have,” Wallace said.
   “We were tall but we didn’t have that inside presence.
“So we’ve now got Aaron, who will throw his weight around, and Joe Werner is going to be pretty exciting to watch around the glass.
   “We go 12-deep so, from a coaching perspective, our list is pretty healthy.”
   Wallace said captain DJ Taylor, the team’s oldest player at 30, had returned in career-best shape while Adam Jackson, Chris Payne and Paul Burgess have been standouts at training.
   He said 21-year-old Ryan Fookes will be pushing for team selection once the season begins.
   But, Wallace warned, making the playoffs would be a task in itself as all clubs had strengthened their rosters.
   “Every team has recruited really well to make it a hell of a competition.”
   The first home game is against Albury-Wodonga on March 15.

2008 Club Kilsyth Cobras Roster

No.4     Aaron Littlepage
No.5     Jon Croft
No.6     Zach Malvik
No.7     Jon Lee
No.8     Chris Payne
No.9     Josh Allison
No.10   Brian Moore
No.11   Ryan Fooks
No.12   Gerard Leonard
No.13   DJ Taylor
No.15   Joe Werner
No.21   Paul Burgess
No.22   Adam Jackson