Fu­ture looks promis­ing

Benalla Ensign - - Sport - Di­dier Sto­bart

The Saints are com­ing off an ex­cit­ing sea­son, blood­ing a num­ber of new re­cruits and mak­ing fi­nals with a young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced team.

The Saints fin­ished the sea­son sixth on the lad­der with a record of 10 wins and eight losses, af­ter a fast start win­ning seven of their first nine games.

Coach Luke Mo­ran was im­pressed with the young tal­ent com­ing through, with play­ers ris­ing from the thirds a few years ago into the firsts this year and mak­ing an im­me­di­ate im­pact.

‘‘We had a few play­ers who have been at the club for a few years and re­ally had break­out years. We have a re­ally young list and see­ing these guys im­prove ev­ery year is re­ally promis­ing for the club,’’ Mor­gan said.

‘‘Brodie Web­ster had a break­out year across half-back and won our best and fairest. It was great to see him de­velop into a vi­tal player for our team and be­come a great leader.’’

With the club los­ing a few se­nior play­ers for the up­com­ing sea­son, the Saints will have to rely on their younger play­ers step­ping up.

‘‘We are ex­pect­ing Jack Spinks, Chris Welsh and Jaimie Dunne to step up this year,’’ Mor­gan said.

‘‘They are look­ing re­ally promis­ing in the pre-sea­son and I think they are go­ing to thrive in a more se­nior role this sea­son.’’

With a num­ber of district clubs poach­ing play­ers from the Saints ev­ery year, the em­pha­sis is fo­cused on the 18-to-20-year-old play­ers, who make up most of the team this year.

‘‘With a high turnover of play­ers the last few years, the em­pha­sis has re­ally been on de­vel­op­ing the younger guys and giv­ing them an op­por­tu­nity to show their skills. A few play­ers have re­ally sur­prised us and im­proved at a re­ally quick rate. We could use a few more play­ers in the squad, and places are still up for grabs in the team.’’

Train­ing is Mon­day and Wed­nes­day nights at the Be­nalla show­grounds from 6 pm. All play­ers are wel­come and with the club field­ing three teams, all skill lev­els are wel­come.

‘‘It’s a re­ally great cul­ture at the club and we al­ways wel­come new play­ers with open arms,’’ Mor­gan said. ‘‘I’m re­ally ex­cited for this sea­son and like our chances of mak­ing fi­nals again if we can bring it all to­gether.’’

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