Update with the GM Football Operations Kristian Dicton

Tuesday, February 20, 2024 - 3:46 PM

This week, we took the time to sit down with Club GM Football Operations Kristian Dicton.

There have been a couple of big name players leave the Club. Could you let us know who has departed?

Unfortunately, after a fantastic 2023 season, Zac Clarke our reigning Outridge Medallist, decided to hang up the boots before Christmas due to some injury concerns, whilst club stalwarts Aaron Heal (156) and Max Walters (107) who have combined for 263 Subiaco league matches and 7 premierships have moved on to the next chapter of their lives both having young families.  Max may be having a run with Whitfords. 

Kyle Stainsby is taking the year off to travel around Australia, whilst we loose youngsters Jake South, Jaxon McGowan, Connor Patterson, Oscar Matthews and Lauchie Vanirsen to community football.  Corey Hitchcock has relocated to the Gold Coast. 

Are you happy with the Club’s off-season list movement?

As a whole we are really pleased with the shape of our list coming into season 2024 and beyond. After the retirement of Zac Clarke we have been on the hunt for a seasoned ruckman to lead the ruck and help fast track the development of our up and coming rucks like Jacob Wagenknecht, Luker Kentfield and Bryce McDonald. We are still looking, but confident the young brigade will be able to shoulder the load after seeing positive signs over the pre season.

Our key targets for the off season were our two local lads coming out of the AFL system in Greg Clark and Luke Foley.  The opportunity to get both guys back who appear to have plenty of good footy infront of them should bolster the Club's midfield and onfield leadership.  

Kyron Hayden missed all of last season with injury, is he set to return in Round 1 and where do you think he will be used?

Kyron is like a new recruit, He’s been fantastic throughout his rehab, his attitude is always positive and has been an outstanding addition to the squad. He’s chomping at the bit to be playing after the year off and he’ll play a mix of half back and midfield to bring some physicality to the contest. Good luck to whoever gets in his way!

It looks like competition for midfield minutes will be at a premium.  That must be an exciting dilemma for the coaching group.

Having multiple midfield options was a big part of our strategy when building our list for season 2024.  Having strength on ball through the likes of Greg Clark, Kyron Hayden, Liam Hickmott and Jaimon Alone, complimented by some taller options in Marlin Corbett, Jordan Snadden and Luke Foley with the class of Leigh Kitchin and Taj Schofield added in the mix makes for a formidable midfield cartel should we get the balance right.

Which local players from 2023 have impressed so far and look ready to step up to League?

Rory Murison is set for a big year after having a consistent first year in the reserves side in 2023, Campbell Henderson has shown promising signs over pre season and will be looking for a crack at senior football early on.   Tyler Senge and Oscar Dees coming up from the colts haven’t looked out of place with the senior group.  Judd Kelman has moved down from Kalgoorlie to join us in the new year and is definitely someone to watch throughout 2024. Malakai Champion is also someone to follow as he is a part of the AFL’s National Academy, WA state academy and hopefully can solidify a spot in our best 22 early on in the season, potentially as a small crumbing forward. 

Have there been any major changes in the coach’s box?

Numerous changes in our coaching ranks include Jamie Battigelli after steering our reserves side in 2022 to the premiership, has been promoted to League back's coach. Whilst we have a few new faces joining us in Jay Bordas (Head Development Coach), Jordy Moore (Development assistant), John Suckling (Head of transition), and Zac Zucconi (performance analyst). We also have a new Head of S&C in Stuart Chesher and Physio Hugh Williams replacing Matt Lester and Phobe Freeman who’ve both gone on to bigger and better things joining the Melbourne Mavericks and West coast Fever in the super netball competition.

Across the board we are hoping to improve on what we delivered last year and I think we have had the preseason to do this.