COACH GREG MIDDLETON: (We want to) continue to improve our club as a whole and enjoy ourselves as we progress.
TIM O'CONNOR: Skipton made some good improvement last season after a horror 2017 campaign that failed to return a win. A strong recruiting drive has bolstered the senior list yet again and the Emus should be fighting for a spot towards the bottom end of the top eight.
GEOFF TAYLOR MEDAL VOTING
Andrew Pitson 10
Adam Romey 5
Mitchell Bruns 5
Cooper Henson 4
Joshua Peters 3
Curtis Townrow 3
Kal Dubbeldam 3
Jack Peeters 3
Mark Hoare 2
Brayden Draffin 2
Angus Mason 2
Andrew Fay 1
James Cusack 1
CHFL TEAM OF THE YEAR
Greg Middleton (coach)
THE YEAR THAT WAS
It took nine attempts from four different sides, but 2019 was finally the year that a former Lexton Plains league club reached a Central Highlands finals series.
Skipton was the team to do it and it proved a massive thrill for coach Greg Middleton, who has been the driving force behind on-field change.
Middleton didn't win a game in his first campaign in charge during 2017, but slowly built the side and ultimately made the playoffs two years later.
In 2019, Skipton always appeared on track to finish inside the top eight and did so with important wins against key rivals. The Emus beat Dunnstown, Bungaree, Rokewood-Corindhap, Learmonth and Creswick, all sides that finished just below them on the ladder. The victory against the Demons in round 14 was the big one and locked in eighth spot despite the Emus failing to win any of their last three matches.
Skipton was hit hard by injuries to key players by the elimination final, but produced a gutsy display to be level with Hepburn at half time, only to be overrun in the third and fourth terms.
Andrew Pitson had another strong year for the club and won the best and fairest, but there was also good finds in the likes of young ruckman Josh Peeters and defender Ben Krol.
There has been some key departures from Skipton in the off-season, but Middleton said he was confident the Emus had picked up enough class to cover those losses and would be a better team in 2020.
Those key recruits include Daniel Kilpatrick, Rhys Monument, Jack Romeril, James Sclanders and Sam Willian.