By Nick Cherry
Maroochydore Roos head coach Andrew Cadzow is bracing for an explosive start to this year’s AFL season when his team faces-off against the Caloundra Panthers next Saturday.
The Roos enter 2018 as premiership favourites after eclipsing the Noosa Tigers in last year’s grand-final, a result that ended a 20-year-championship drought for Maroochydore.
Another strong play-off campaign is the obvious goal for the defending premiers but Cadzow said he will focus on one game at a time.
“Our goal is to play finals but we must win each game first,” he said.
“Our first game against Caloundra is very important to us and it always provides a great local derby.”
Cadzow said the clash against the Panthers would be a good indication of where the Roos “are at” and what they can change progressing further into the season.
Cadzow said it will be the three local sides that will prove the biggest threat to the team’s title defence.
“Our biggest challenges will come from the other Sunshine Coast teams,” he said.
“They are always difficult to beat.”
Cadzow said that the Roos pre-season had been going “great”, with the club also significantly bolstering their playing roster with key signings such as Mitch Scholard and Josh Filo, who returns from injury in 2018.
“The teams had a few really good hit-outs and we’ve prepared now, the best we can, for our first game,” he said.
The South Eastern Queensland AFL Division 1 competition is due to kick off April 7.