Despite finishing 2020-21 as minor premiers, BMS have no silverware to show for its strong showing in Ballarat Highlands Bowls Region Saturday Pennant Premier competition.
Although it put in a strong showing in a semi final, it ultimately fell 57-51 to Ballarat.
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There is still plenty to like about BMS heading into a new season.
It was the strongest regular season side in 2020-21, the only difference in its semi final loss being one rink that it lost 23-16.
If this can be cleaned up, than BMS stand as good a chance as any to repeat its success of last season and potentially go a step further and make a grand final.
The Courier caught up with president Kevin McLean to chat about how they are shaping up.
Q. How has the preparation for the season been?
A - It's been a long pre-season with not much action. We've found it hard with COVID and what have you to get the practice in because you're not allowed to have practice games. What we're doing down there is hoping blokes are putting in the practice time and (getting) prepared for the start of the season ahead.
Q. What are the emotions like heading into the season given what everyone has been through this year?
A - Not knowing what the future held there for a long time with COVID and what have you, we're as keen as mustard to get underway and everybody has been since the start of September.
We're just hoping there's no more interruptions to the start of the season and we can get on and play the games ahead.
Q. Are you expecting similar personnel to return this season?
A - We've lost a couple of players, we're hoping we can fill them spots up. We'll probably have three new blokes in that side this year, so we're hoping they can step up to the plate. When you lose a bit of experience ... it doesn't just happen overnight, you've got to have people to step up an they're big shoes to fill. We're pretty confident we'll have a good year ahead of us.
Q. Besides yourselves, who do you see as the team to beat?
A - You always look at the finals teams from last year and you look at them and you say to yourself, 'are they the benchmark?' Course they're the benchmark because they're the teams to beat and if they haven't lost any of their players, they're going to be hard to beat again this year. It's such an even competition, you've got to put the pedal to the metal and do your training during the week and go there fully confident you can win on the Saturday's. We believe our blokes can do that.
Q. Who do you see as the big improvers?
A - It's hard to say because it's such an even competition. You get the likes of the Linton's and the Buninyong's ... they're always hard to beat at the best of times, with a couple of seasons under their belts in the Premier competition, all goes well for them for having a good year this year.
Q. Minor premiers last season but fell in a tight semi final, will you draw on that for motivation?
A - Every year's a new year, we look at this as being an improving year again. You try and beat what you did last year or equal it anyway and our blokes had a great year last year and were very competitive. We see no reason why we shouldn't be confident of having a good year.
Q. What do you see as your biggest strength?
A - Blending the youth, we've got a bit of youth in our side. They're maturing every game they get and mixing them with the (older) blokes that have been around for a while, know the game inside out, they're teaching the young blokes the game. We're really confident we'll have a good side this year.
BMS' 2020-21 Saturday Pennant Premier season
Ladder position: First
Record: +109 shots, 167 points
Semi final: defeated by Ballarat 57-51
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