Pumas chas­ing change in for­tune

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

After Moys­ton-willaura’s dis­ap­point­ing 2017 fin­ish in Minin­era and District Foot­ball League, the Pumas have gone hard dur­ing pre-sea­son train­ing.

To try to turn around their for­tunes, the Pumas started train­ing on Novem­ber 6 last year, six weeks be­fore Christ­mas.

The ef­fort re­flects a lot of work for the team as it looks to be ready and rar­ing to go in round one.

The dis­ap­point­ment of last year has brought plenty of en­ergy to train­ing each week and with plenty of new faces, all play­ers are keen to get into the ac­tion.

How­ever, Moys­ton-willaura has had few outs from last year’s team and un­for­tu­nately the play­ers who won’t be tak­ing the field for the Pumas are of the high­est qual­ity.

These in­clude last year’s best and fairest and dom­i­nant player Billy Lau­rie who has put in a clear­ance to Kowree-nara­coorte-ta­tiara league, along with Lyn­den Brewis who is a mid­field pow­er­house on the long-term in­jury list.

There is also John Van­der­waal, who after kick­ing 61 goals in 10 games last sea­son, was struck down with ill­ness. He was a key for­ward for the Pumas, go­ing into last sea­son with 124 goals in 2016.

With the hope to im­prove through all grades and con­tinue to de­velop their club cul­ture, the Pumas have re­cruited heav­ily to try to fill voids cre­ated by the de­par­tures.

A long list of re­cruits in­clude Luke Todd, Cori Cor­ri­gan and Ri­ley Hamil­ton all from Wim­mera league out­fit Ararat, Jamie Bach and Daniel Mcdon­ald, Stawell, Mitch Side­bot­tom, Western Aus­tralia, Cal­lum Stevens, Bal­larat, Matthew Fog­a­rty, Vic­to­rian Am­a­teurs, and Jamie El­der re­turn­ing from the AFL’S North­ern Ter­ri­tory com­pe­ti­tion.

They join a list of play­ers in­clud­ing Rhys Cronin, Ben Robert­son, Josh By­wa­ter, Matthew Peel, Jack­son Seres, Joshua Day and Aaron Pianta who under the coach­ing of Matt Burmeis­ter have proven that they have the abil­ity to be a dom­i­nant team in the league.

Moys­ton-willaura’s sea­son kicks off against Pen­shurst on Satur­day, which will be a good yard­stick in as­sess­ing whether the club’s re­cruit­ing and pre-sea­son build-up has been on tar­get.

Aaron Pianta in ac­tion against Great Western. Pic­ture: PE­TER MORGANTI

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