Bushrangers bound for September
A solid pre-season without the distraction of floods or bushfires has the Murray Bushrangers primed for big year in the TAC Cup.
While the north of the state has been sweating though a long hot summer, Bushrangers talent manger Andrew Carson said it was a challenge much easier to overcome than the natural disasters that have interrupted the past two pre-seasons.
“The last two years we’ve been restricted in what we can do,” he said.
“So to have 16 weeks of consistent training where we’re able to plan things carefully has ensured we’re in much better shape heading into the season,” Carson said.
“We think we’ve had a fantastic summer and that was really evident at the TAC Cup testing day earlier this month when a lot of boys produced personal bests.”
Small forward Jarman Impy and running defender Nathan Drummond are expected to be two of the Bushrangers’ key players this season and Carson said both would spend more time in the midfield.
“They’re in fantastic knick, and two who we think will figure for Vic Country in the NAB AFL U18 Carnival,” he said.
“Michael Gibbons, a NSW boy, is another who will be a player to watch. He’s a tough, inside midfielder and has had a terrific pre-season.”
The Bushrangers will also welcome back 19-year-old prospects Matthew Brett and Jydon Neagle, who Carson said would be prominent if the pair can overcome injury concerns.
The Bushrangers face the Geelong Falcons in their opening match on Easter Saturday, the team that knocked them out of the finals race in 2012.
Coach: Darren Ogier
2012 Ladder position: 5th (10 wins, 7 losses)
Finals finish: Lost elimination final against Geelong Falcons
2012 Best & Fairest: Sam Martyn
AFL AIS Squad members: Nick Coughlan
First match: Geelong Falcons, Highgate Recreation Reserve, Saturday March 30