Deniliquin Pastoral Times

‘Cutters rely on skill, speed

- ~ Josh Huntly

Mathoura coach Stan Gilday admits the Timbercutt­ers won’t boast the strongest side in the Picola and District Football League but says its ‘‘skill and speed’’ will hold it in good stead as round one against Rennie looms.

Gilday inherited the Timbercutt­ers’ senior line-up after a tumultuous off-season, answering desperate calls for a coach at one of the club’s crisis meetings.

‘‘I thought if the community is in that sort of predicamen­t then I’ll put my hand up and give it my best shot,’’ Gilday said.

After a period where it looked like Mathoura could fade into recession for the season, the ‘Cutters will successful­ly field a senior side in the PDFNL, albeit with low numbers.

Gilday now knows where the strength of Mathoura — who made finals last season — now lies and hinted it could give a few sides a run in 2022.

‘‘I think we’ll go alright — we’ll be able to put a side on the park,’’ Gilday said.

‘‘We won’t be big-bodied at this stage, but we’ll be skilful and fast.

‘‘That’s how I’ll train them.’’ Gilday concedes there is a challenge ahead after losing more than 10 senior regulars, but is confident ‘‘four or five’’ bigger bodies to link up with the club’s talented thirds class of 2021 will see Mathoura spring a few surprises.

And he’s confident the ‘Cutters will see a few returning faces before the season’s start.

‘‘We’re fortunate that our under 17s have stuck together,’’ Gilday said.

‘‘With the training we’re doing now, they are quite impressive these young blokes.

‘‘I’m only talking four or five bigger bodies around to help them out and I think we’ll be quite competitiv­e.

‘‘I’m still hoping we can get some players back.

‘‘Those that thought we were going to fold; I think we’ll have a surprise in store for some.’’

Gilday, a former VFL reserves player with Carlton, has had coaching roles with a variety of clubs, most recently as coach with Amateurs club Brunswick.

He will face his first assignment this Saturday when Mathoura meets Rennie at Mathoura Reserve.

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