Fla­herty: ‘There aren’t any guar­an­tees for any player’

Campaspe News - - LO­CAL CLASSIES -

rights.’’

Rus­sell has also had a stint with pow­er­ful NT Thun­der un­der the tute­lage of for­mer AFL player Xavier Clarke.

Play­ing ini­tially as a back-up ruck­man, Rus­sell was then moved to de­fence where he finds him­self most com­fort­able. Fans can ex­pect to see the solidly built Rus­sell spend time be­tween both of these po­si­tions at Rochester.

Dan Hill comes to Rochester from Col­binab­bin, con­tin­u­ing a tra­di­tion of play­ers be­ing ex­changed be­tween the two clubs.

Only 21 years old, Hill has rep­re­sented the HDFL on three oc­ca­sions as a half-back flanker, a po­si­tion he will slot into nicely in a Tiger uni­form.

Mitch McEwen has fol­lowed in the foot­steps of his older brother Jack­son in mak­ing the switch from Leitchville-Gun­bower and head­ing south to Rochester.

Only 18 years of age, McEwen has al­ready made a name for him­self as a big-game player, hav­ing been best on ground in two Un­der 17 pre­mier­ships with Leitchville-Gun­bower and ad­ding a se­nior premier­ship in 2018.

An­other big body, Bar­tels joins the Tigers from South Bendigo in the Bendigo League. A hard-run­ning mid­field/for­ward, Bar­tels will find him­self mov­ing be­tween the half-for­ward line and mid­field. Bar­tels’ pre­cise skills should find him set­ting up many of the Tigers’ for­ward thrusts.

For­mer vice-cap­tain Bright re­turns home af­ter a year at Col­binab­bin and will add some much needed grunt to the mid­field bri­gade.

Bright found him­self in the best play­ers in all bar one game last sea­son, with six of those times be­ing ad­judged the best Col­binab­bin player on the ground.

Bright’s lead­er­ship will be in­valu­able to the younger play­ers com­ing through the ranks.

Two key changes in coach­ing struc­tures will see club le­gend David Wil­liams take the reins of the un­der 18 side in 2019.

Wil­liams was an as­sis­tant to Corey Win­dridge last year and his wealth of knowl­edge will be an in­valu­able as­set to the Tiger cubs.

Last sea­son’s Abikhair Medal­list, Sam Fraw­ley, has taken over from Nathan Whipp as the re­serves coach.

Fraw­ley has al­ready con­tacted a for­mi­da­ble play­ing list and will ben­e­fit from the im­proved se­nior depth.

With con­sis­tent num­bers above 30 dur­ing preChrist­mas ses­sions, Fla­herty is ex­cited about the op­por­tu­ni­ties that will be avail­able to play­ers when the sea­son kicks off against Echuca on Satur­day, April 6 on Moon Oval.

“There aren’t any guar­an­tees for any player in our side. We work on play­ing our best side week in, week out. If you don’t want to play our team game, then you will find your­self out of the side pretty quickly.”

An omi­nous warn­ing for ri­val clubs, be sure to keep an eye on the fight­ing fury com­ing from Moon Oval.

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