After being competitive last season but not able to execute for long enough when it mattered, Cobram will be looking for its young cubs to improve again as they begin their quest to ascend the Murray Football Netball League ladder.
Entering his second year as coach, Josh Noonan said the club had addressed some major deficiencies from last season by adding some new recruits and tinkering with game style.
‘‘Playing more as a team is something we have worked on over pre-season. At the back end of last year, I think we did well for what we had,’’ he said.
‘‘And recruiting-wise this year, we have gone out and got players who we think can help finish off the hard work that the guys were doing last year.
‘‘So yeah, we are obviously hoping to climb the ladder this year. I feel we have players that can help us do that.
‘‘Last year was more a learning year and establishing a strong foundation. We were very competitive, especially towards the back end of the year, but we were unable to finish off games and get the wins we needed, so that is probably where we deserved to sit in the end.’’
After spending a large portion of last year educating his young troops on the way to play the modern game and getting the fundamentals right, Noonan said he was hoping his players could break the shackles and play some more aggressive, offensive footy this season.
He said recruits Jack Wilson and Cadeyn Williams had made a great impression from the small sample he had seen.
‘‘I haven’t seen a whole lot of Cadeyn and Jack yet, but from what I have seen they have been first class in terms of their professionalism and the physical shape they have arrived in,’’ he said.
Noonan said Williams in particular would help improve an area in which the Tigers struggled last year.
‘‘Our forward line was probably one of our weaker points last season, so Cadeyn will definitely help build on that and he will spend the majority of his time forward and who knows after that,’’ he said.
‘‘He will provide guidance out on the field, which is something we lacked a little of last season.’’
Noonan pointed to his two co-captains as examples of continued improvement in the pre-season.
‘‘Nic Hoban and Tyron Baden have both really improved on their leadership,’’ he said.
‘‘Tyron especially is probably not a natural leader, as such. It was something he had to go into, but you can see the maturity within those guys now. It is starting to build and they are starting to take that on and develop as leaders.’’
The Tigers open the season against arch-rival Barooga on Friday.
Noonan said limiting the Hawks’ creativity and spread around the contest would be pivotal in stopping them.
‘‘They are pretty strong offensively. We really need to try and shut down their outside run and stop easy delivery into the forward half, because they are pretty potent up there,’’ the coach said.
‘‘They fell short to Nathalia last year in the prelim, so it will be a really good measuring stick to see where we sit early in the season.’’