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Fitzroy Stars coach Lionel Proctor has a premiership in sights

Jackson Clark -

Fitzroy Stars coach Lionel Proctor is confident of his team’s chances of winning the premiership in the Northern Football League Division Three competition this year.

The Stars have started the season with three wins from their opening four games, including a big win over Reservoir in co-captain Jai Burns’s 150th game.

Proctor has a flag in sights, but his first goal is to secure a top-three finish on the ladder.

“We want to at least finish top three to get the double-chance, which will give us the best opportunity (of winning a premiership),” Proctor told National Indigenous Times.

“I think from there anything can happen, it’s a really close competition this year so it’s really important to be able to secure that double chance and we will back ourselves in every week to get the job done.

“We’ve had a really good start – there’s been a big focus on these first five rounds leading into our bye in Round 6.

“We are 3-1 at the moment with a big game this week against Kilmore, so we’re looking to go into the bye in a really strong position.”

The Stars struggled in 2023, finishing in seventh position with just five wins from 16 games.

However, it was a productive off-season for the club with a couple of key signings, including former Melbourne star defender Neville Jetta.

Neville Jetta in action for the Fitzroy Stars. (Image: Fitzroy Stars / Facebook)

Proctor said that the Stars’ playing list is in great shape and that Jetta in particular has had a big impact at the club.

“His commitment and dedication to the club has been first-rate, it’s really helped the guys, particularly through the pre-season.

“He brought across a really good program to help us and everyone has adapted to it really well.”

“The list is really good, we’ve recruited really heavily and wanted to get some experience back into the place to help with bringing these young fellas through.”

Two of the Stars’ players Patrick Farrant and Tyson Pickett have also secured VFL contracts, with Collingwood and the Northern Bullants respectively.

Farrant is the league’s current leading goalkicker with 18 goals across three games, while Pickett is also producing strong form and kicked four goals in last weekend’s win.

As for Proctor, the 44-year-old is not slowing down after making his return to the team last week.

“I hurt my ankle just before Christmas so I finally got that right – I’ve been doing a little bit of training so I was able to get back on the weekend.

“It’s a bit of a week-by-week thing at the moment, we’ve got a few injuries at the moment so I was able to slot in there.”

Proctor – a former AFL player with Richmond – is a legend of the Stars having won the club’s best-and-fairest on five occasions as well as being a two-time winner of the Northern Football League Division Two best-and-fairest.

In recent years, he has turned to coaching, but he still enjoys having a kick ‘if the body is feeling good’.

“I’m not too sure what the plan is with how many games I’ll play but if the body is feeling good, and if I’m needed, I’ll definitely play.”

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