The Lions are rebuilding their squad after the loss of some of the region’s most prominent veterans, but there’s still enough class and experience in their ranks to make an impression in 2016 under new coach Steve Fenika.

 Coach: Steve Fenika

Last season: 5th (won 5, lost 7, drew 2)

Pre-season: “It’s been really good,” Fenika says. “I’ve brought in a trainer and he’s taken the boys through the pre-season and got them into good shape. We’ve had good numbers and everyone’s put in at training. We’re all ready to go.”

Key gains: Eddie Enosa (Linwood)

Key losses: Chris Bamford (Linwood), Kasi Leka (retired), Bruce Havea (retired)

2016 squad: “We’ve had one guy come across, Eddie Enosa from Linwood, but everyone else has come through the grades at Celebration. A lot of young guns coming through from the 18s up into reserve grade, and then a few of the reserve grade boys coming up to premiers. Phil (Nati) is still there, along with John Lima, Jordan Wawatai, Kyle Leka and Kane (Ferris). Phil is part of the senior group we have with John  and Jordan, and Kyle will be our captain. With Phil being involved with the 18s this year, I didn’t want to put the pressure of the vice-captain (role) on him, so I’ve made John Lima our vice-captain.”

Goals: “Like every other club, our main goal is to win it. But it’s all about achieving our little goals before we reach that big win at the end.”

Round 1: v Hornby Panthers @ Cuthberts Green 1, Saturday 2:30pm – “Obviously Hornby’s going to be a big challenge for us. But the boys are pretty much just focused on us, and just preparing for Hornby. They’re always strong and always up there. We just want to get off to a good start.”

Celebration Lions
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