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