Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Rovers step up against Swans

- By Laura Green

Round one of the Picola and District Football Netball League will be asking the Deniliquin Rovers to prove themselves.

They will come up against the Katunga Swans at Deniliquin’s Memorial Park tomorrow.

The senior footballer­s were a steadfast young team which faced a few challenges on the field last season, coming in eleventh.

Coach Alex Hay said the outfit has come along way.

“As a whole, we’ve had about the same group for close to three years, so they’re starting to really click.”

The Rovers’ primary challenge last season was stamina.

“They (the Swans) are a really good side, they are known to battle deep through midfield,” Hay said.

"They have a few key forwards who are really good, but I think they should be fairly similar to us.“

While hesitant to place his bets, Hay believes the Rovers can meet a challenge from the Swans.

He said a long preseason has had “a big focus on skills” and training as a collective.

“At our practice match with Finley, we were looking forward to having a full side together and seeing what we can do full strength and I think that showed some promise.”

While the core 2021 team remains, the Roos have just revealed a few exciting new recruits.

Nick Sheldon and Jack O’Callaghan have migrated from Echuca, offering variety in the selection list.

Sheldon is an experience­d midfielder, while O’Callaghan is a big-bodied defender.

Lancefield local James Falcone has been enlisted after a stint playing in Melbourne, and John Allitt, with a history in Finley, will take a place in the ruck.

Joe Hay is the final fresh commitment, and the coach Hay says he will bring a “bit of pace” with him onto the field.

In netball, the A and B squads have trained tightly to strike successful­ly and early.

A grade coach Brittany Kirby’s preseason focus has been fostering the next generation of A grade Roos.

‘‘This season, our goal was to have some older heads on the court to support the young girls coming through as they developed,“Kirby said when she was appointed.

Consistenc­y is key to her strategy — a tight structure and top tier skills will keep the Rovers in charge of play when they battle the Swans tomorrow.

‘‘I think that last season, had a good season we had a good team, we had played some wonderful netball. The consistenc­y was probably our downfall in the end.’’

 ?? ?? Rovers coach Alex Hay.
Rovers coach Alex Hay.

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