Will Adam Cooney be at Spotswood in 2020? Coach Anthony Eames gives the latest and details why the WRFL club has made adjustments to its pre-season program
Luke D’Anello, Maribyrnong Leader, 28 November, 2019
Spotswood will be without Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney in 2020 as the club finetunes its pre-season program in a bid to conquer the competition’s best.
Former Western Bulldogs and Essendon midfielder Cooney made nine appearances for the Woodsmen
this year and contributed 18 goals.
Cooney and his family are set to move from Newport after purchasing a new home in Batesford, west of
The 34-year-old played 250 games at AFL level in a decorated 13-year career.
He claimed the league’s highest individual honour in 2008 and was named in the All-Australian team
in the same year.
“To play is going to be difficult, so I don’t see him playing, which is a shame because he’s brilliant for our footy club in the way he conducts himself in the media and in general life,” Spotswood coach
Anthony Eames said.
“He’s a good man and will be missed.
“Hopefully he’s involved in some capacity with the kids somewhere, so to get that out of him would be
great for the club.
“He even went on the footy trip with the guys. He’s just a normal guy who loves his footy, loves his
family and all that.
“He’s a ripper and I’m sure we’ll see him around the place.”
Spotswood contested eight consecutive grand finals between 2007 and 2014 for four premierships, but it has not been back on the big stage since, with Deer Park taking over as the WRFL’s leading club.
The Woodsmen lost to the Lions twice in this season’s finals series – by 30 points in the qualifying final and by 27 points in the preliminary final.
Eames said those defeats led to an adjustment in the pre-season approach.
“I think we’ll improve again,” he said.
“We’ll change up our pre-season a little bit to get everyone a bit stronger and fast-track the body maturity within the group. I think that’s our focus for this pre-season.
“You play against the experienced Deer Park outfit in finals, and they got us twice.
“It’s pretty realistic there’s a bit of a gap there from us to the premiers. We’ve got to look to find
different ways of fast-tracking it.
“Certainly, the mental aspect of the game comes with the more games you play I guess, but I think you
can fast-track the physical component.”
Spotswood has secured mobile forward Ben Deller, who managed just six senior games for VAFA club
Williamstown CYMS this season.
But Deller is a former Williamstown-listed VFL player and Eames expects him to make a significant
“We rate him highly,” he said.
“I think he’s got a renewed focus for footy, which I think has already come out in the couple of (training) sessions we’ve had, as far as his commitment to his fitness.”
Brydan Hodgson, who featured in 11 games for the Woodsmen this year, will be full-time next season.
The midfielder played two matches for Werribee in the VFL in 2019 but has quit the state league.
“He’s had a few injuries the last few years, so it will be good to get him full-time and solely focused on
Spotty,” Eames said.
“He’s going to be a different player next year.”
Altona premiership coach Eames is preparing for his fourth season at the helm.