After suffering two close losses in 2018, including a three point heart breaker to Eastern Eyre, Lincoln Districts are out to make amends in this years Mortlock Shield. Coach, Paul Boxer, said that despite having only three sides to choose from, he is confident ahead of the long weekend.
"This year we believe we have the potential to go all the way and win the shield," he said. "Success in football requires heart, pride and teamwork, and this will be our focus leading into the carnival".
While Boxer isn't as confident as others that the new six team format will even out the competition with some leagues still appearing stronger than others, however he said the Lincoln Districts side is focusing on what they can control themselves.
"With all the player movements these days I think some sides may struggle and some may prosper," he said. "To win the shield you need to have the best percentage which simply means being able to score more and defend better than all the other teams, which is what we will be out to achieve".
Kinsley Bilney, a stalwart player of the Lincoln Districts side, has been named captain ahead of the 2019 Mortlock Shield, and with two 'Mail Medals' to his name and three times a runner-up, Boxer said he is confident he has the right man to lead this years side.
"He's a strong player who will lead by example with his courage and his electric pace," he said. "We also have some exciting prospects in our side including Corey Beard, Lachlan Jennings and Derek Wanganeen who all have SANFL experience".
First up for Lincoln Districts is a match against a determined Far West side who had one loss and one win in last years competition and Boxer said he is expecting their battle to be a close one. "We play Far West first up this year," he said. "Far West are a similar side to us and have been big improvers over the last few years, so we will be expecting a tough encounter".
While not wanting to get ahead of himself or his teams chance, Boxer said that as long as injuries and luck goes their way, a Mortlock Shield win is a real possibility and would be great reward for the Lincoln Districts players.
"I think winning the shield would be a monumental reward to the players who have given their commitment to the Mortlock Shield over the years," he said. "It would also give the three three sides we choose from a boost of confidence going into the remainder of their home and away season".
Following the 12 month hiatus of last years winners the Eyre Peninsula Sharks and the withdrawal of Far North, the Mortlock Shield is up for grabs to the team who wants it most, and the Lincoln Districts side is ready to go and make the 2019 title theirs.