K rock Football

Devils to get early idea of improvement

Corio co-coach Darren Bennett (krockfootball.com.au Image/Darren Phillips)

CORIO co-coach Darren Bennett is keen to see how much his squad has developed this pre-season when it becomes the first local club to take part in practice match action on Friday night.

The Devils will take on Western Region club Wyndhamvale, which is coached by former Bell Post Hill and Geelong West star Chris Moreland, at Evans Reserve in Norlane across six quarters.

“It seemed to work, timing-wise, to get in and get one out of the way,” Bennett said of the match.

“It gives us a bit of time to have a look and address the things that don’t work from the game plan side of things.

“It gives us a bit of time to work on it before the next one.”


The match will be significant for Corio, which is winless since Round 13, 2017, in that it will be the first appearance in the red and white for Bennett’s son Joel since 2014

He has returned from time with VFL club Werribee, Geelong West and the Geelong Falcons to join his dad as co-coach.

“Joel will definitely play;” Bennett said. “He’s as keen as mustard.”

“Having Joel back – obviously the young guys look up to him – he’s really driven the standards.

“Things are turning around, as far as guys doing the right thing, a lot quicker than I expected.”

As well as Joel, other new faces that will take on the Falcons include Lachie Sharp (Geelong West – GDFL) and Jack Larkin (Woorndo-Mortlake).

“They’re two young guys who have fitted into our group really well,” Bennett said.

“We’ll just try and see where we’re at and get the guys to jell together early on, and give them time on the training track to really get to know each other and work as a team.”


Luke Cornwell is a chance to play his first match after missing 2019 with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament on Friday night.

However, Michael Cadman will have to wait a bit longer for his return from a similar injury.

“Mick’s been back in full training the last two weeks,” Bennett said.

“He won’t play Friday night, but I think Luke Cornwell’s keen to play.”

Bennett says numbers on the track have been as high as 44, with the average in the low-to-mid-30s.

“Last year I gave the boys two options,” he said. “Option one is you can sit at home and just do nothing.

“Or option two, you can do the hard thing and get to training.

“Soon, there’s not going to be that first option. The more guys who do the right thing, the more the others are jumping on board and going past the guys who don’t want to train.”

Twitter: @tom_king79