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SWFL 2023: Reigning premiers Augusta-Margaret River ready to embrace new challenge in Busselton clash

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenSouth Western Times
Augusta-Margaret River's Jack McMahon lines up for a kick as Busselton's Brodie Howell looms.
Camera IconAugusta-Margaret River's Jack McMahon lines up for a kick as Busselton's Brodie Howell looms. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

With a new year of football dawning on the South West, reigning premiers Augusta-Margaret River are excited to return to the field and embrace the challenges ahead.

The Hawks will be opening their 2023 South West Football League campaign when they host Busselton at Gloucester Park on Saturday in the first Busselton Toyota Cup match for the season.

Saturday’s match will provide the back-to-back premiers a chance to atone for an ordinary start to their 2022 campaign, when the Hawks lost to a formidable Busselton side 7.9 (51) to 4.6 (30).

Coach Matt Jamieson said the squad was excited to get back out on the field for a new season, kicking things off against a team they consider a strong contender.

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“Like any round one, everyone is excited to get out there and play again,” he said.

“We obviously think Busselton will be a contender from a coaching point of view so we look forward to the challenge.

“We were pretty ordinary first up last year, launching the season against Busselton with the premiership the year before, so hopefully we can atone for that this year and put in a good performance.”

Seve Grantis gets a handball out.
Camera IconSeve Grantis gets a handball out. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

While the Hawks find themselves once again going into the new season as the team to beat, Jamieson said he was confident his players would embrace the challenge once again.

“We know we have to continually improve if we want to be up the top,” he said.

“Everyone’s chasing the premier from season to season and that just happens to be us again so it is what it is.

“We’ve added some good depth to the squad in replacing the players we’ve lost so we just look forward to that coming together as quick as we can and starting the season.

“There’s a lot of guys that are probably coming into their prime in that 24-28 age bracket so it’s exciting.”

Busselton Toyota Cup winners Busselton Magpies.
Camera IconBusselton Toyota Cup winners Busselton Magpies. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

For Busselton, Saturday could mark the return of a number of players who played a part in the Magpies’ 2021 grand final berth.

The likes of Austin Styles, Kester Decke and Jaxon East have all made their way back to the Magpies’ nest following their respective stints in the Lower South West Football League.

The last time the Hawks and the Magpies met was during the second Busselton Toyota Cup match at Sir Stewart Bovell Park during round 12 of the 2022 season.

Augusta-Margaret River's Simon Moore attempts to keep the ball in.
Camera IconAugusta-Margaret River's Simon Moore attempts to keep the ball in. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

During that match, Busselton outclassed the Hawks 9.10 (64) to 4.6 (30).

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