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Fire still burning for Fleay

Mines Rovers champion Dion Fleay hopes to build on already resounding success in the Goldfields Football League next season after being reappointed senior coach last weekend.

Fleay embarks on a seventh season at the helm already boasting two flags and a Mitchell Me-dal as the league’s premier play-er.

As player-coach, the West Perth life member was among the blue-and-whites’ best in last month’s GFL grand final when they trounced traditional rivals Boulder.

He fully expects to continue as player-coach.

But at 34 and after two knee reconstructions in three seasons, he said he preferred a wait-and-see approach.

“I’m going to go again (as coach) and depending on how the body goes, the plan is to also play again,” he said.

“The knees are not too bad, although the right one is a bit sore.

“I’ll have a scan but it’s nothing too major and probably more in need of a clean-out than anything else.

“My main drama is with the muscles around the knee locking up every now and then.

“But it’s just maintenance.”

Fleay said he looked forward to retaining most of the powerful 2018 group that turned the grand final into a cakewalk in a 14-goal win.

“We’ll lose a couple — Greg Broughton and Hayden Hutcheson definitely won’t be here,” Fleay said.

“Ryan Vermeersch is another one we’re not sure about yet and he’s got to make a call on what he’s doing. “But I think we’ll retain most of the guys.”

Fleay has led Mines Rovers into the past four grand finals, but said it was difficult to compare the premiership teams of 2015 and 2018.

“I think, on paper, this (2018 squad) is the strongest group we’ve had since I’ve been at the club,” he said. “The team we had in 2015 was pretty special and probably more consistent.

“Three years ago, we barely had injuries and were able to retain the same core group most weeks. This year, we had a lean spell where we had to get the boys back in line and pull it together.

“Players were coming and going a lot more this year which made it difficult at times to juggle.”

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