Rovers aim for fi­nals

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Footy Countdown - BY JONATHAN BOX

Af­ter an up and down 2017 Minin­era and Dis­trict Foot­ball League sea­son, SMW Rovers ended up with 10 wins and nar­rowly missed out on fi­nals.

Push­ing to­wards the close of the 2017 sea­son the Bull­dogs won five out of their last six games, in­clud­ing a seven-goal win over ul­ti­mate premier Lis­more-der­ri­nal­lum.

Be­ing so close to mak­ing fi­nals and hav­ing suc­cess in claim­ing a re­serves premier­ship have been ma­jor fac­tors in the Bull­dogs’ pre-sea­son and helped the club largely re­tain most of its 2017 list.

Pre-sea­son has been tick­ing along nicely, with con­sid­er­able em­pha­sis on the play­ing group do­ing a lot of out­side ex­tra work in or­der to put its best foot for­ward come game time.

The coach­ing staff has been happy with the num­bers as well as the qual­ity and skills that have been on the track week in, week out.

They hope the team can im­prove on last year’s per­for­mance to fi­nally make the fi­nals.

Adding to last year’s al­ready set­tled se­nior group is a list of new re­cruits to top up where team lead­ers felt they lacked.

These in­clude Kal Young from North City, Dan Curran and Luke Relouw, Newlyn, Tom Mcwilliam, Beau­fort,

Jake Seers, Clunes, and Ben Nankervis who is re­turn­ing from trav­el­ling over­seas.

These play­ers have been se­lected to com­ple­ment the Rovers’ core group of John Forbes, who was last year’s club best and fairest, Tom Thewlis, a lo­cal young­ster who is grow­ing and im­prov­ing each year, and Lach­lan Pick­er­ing and Alex Mccarthy, who are both very solid foot­ballers who do a job each week.

On the list as well are Jar­ryd Un­der­wood, who was last year’s club lead­ing goal-kicker. His 63 goals put him in the top five for the league.

With tall young­ster Patrick Gra­ham be­ing the only out­go­ing player for the Bull­dogs, the club hopes the new play­ers will boost the depth of both se­nior and re­serve teams and push them in the right di­rec­tion.

SMW Rovers will travel to Macarthur to play Hawkes­dale-macarthur, a team that is al­ways hard to beat, in round one.

The Bull­dogs won one and lost one against the Ea­gles last year and with this in mind the vis­i­tors will be keen to un­der­take the first chal­lenge of the sea­son and start strongly.

Tom Thewlis is primed for a big year with SMW Rovers. Pic­ture: PETER MORGANTI

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