After a first match loss to Great Flinders in the 2018 Mortlock Shield, Lincoln City are looking to exact revenge this year with a rematch locked in for the first day of the tournament. Lincoln City finished a respectable fourth last year and coach David Stoeckel said they are ready to take a tilt at the title. "At this stage we are looking pretty good with a full squad available who are in good form," he said. "Playing against Great Flinders is a big game to look forward to and I know a few of our guys have had this one pencilled in for a while. What better way than to test yourself against the best straight away".
With a strong mix of experienced footballers and youthful enthusiasm, Stoeckel said that there will be no excuses not to perform come the long weekend. "Obviously there will be guys away that weekend for different reasons and injuries to take into account but we know that every year so there will be no surprises come selection time," he said. "As we found out two years ago you play the young guys that are keen and want to be involved and you never know, but not knowing the other teams and their own situations, it makes it a bit hard to make any bold predictions".
While yet to name a captain for the series, Lincoln City will look to experienced leaders including Shaun Maxfield, Luke Wilkins, Paul White, Johann Wagner and Jace Rodda to help steer the team around. Stoeckel said that at the end of the day he expects the older players to lead by example and bring their younger teammates into the matches, teammates he said that are ready for the challenge.
"We have some young fellas to look out for including Jacob Collins, Cooper Tansell and Kody Rosalia, that have had a taste of Mortlock before and I will be very interested to see if they take another step this year," he said. "A couple of real youngsters in Leonard Wells and George Wilks are also in the squad and a massive chance to be in the final 25".
While there is plenty of talent in the side, bringing a group of players into a team who don't play together on a regular occasion can be a difficult task, a task which Stoeckel said he is confident that he can handle. "We try to keep things pretty simple and the week is not massively different to a standard club week in regards to your commitment to training," he said. "Obviously it is a different environment with different players and staff but in all my time I haven't had a problem with guys from the different clubs coming together for one week of the year".
Stoeckel said it would mean a lot to the players to win the Mortlock Shield, but also to him personally. "To me it would be massive as I possibly won't be involved in too many more and the memories gained over the years are very cherished".