Deniliquin Pastoral Times

Rams coming in hard against ‘well-drilled’ Hawks

- By Laura Green

The Deniliquin Rams senior footballer­s shouldn’t expect an easy season start when Barooga travels to the Hardinge St Oval for round one of the Murray League season tomorrow.

With the likes of former Melbourne AFL and Essendon VFL talent Kyle Dunkley joining the Hawks and retired Port Adelaide and Western Bulldogs player Jackson Trengove on as coach, the Rams are in for a stern season opener.

"We expect Barooga to be a welldrille­d outfit,“said Rams coach Ash Morris, himself a former VFL player for Richmond.

“Any side that is coached by someone of Jackson Trengove's experience will be a challengin­g task.

“We'll have some plans ready to go if Jackson begins to influence the game in the ruck, but I've got a great deal of confidence in Bryce Scoullar to be just as damaging.”

Scoullar remains a core ruckman for the side.

The MacDonald brothers, Lachie and Matt, are also expected to bring the Hawks a challenge, as are ball winner Todd Gallagher and forward workhorse Charlie Hillier.

“We'll look to be proactive with the ball in hand and relentless with the way we defend. I'll back our midfield in to win contested footy and give the likes of Todd Gallagher and Charlie Hillier good looks up forward,” Morris said.

Unfortunat­ely, injuries have struck early, making way for newer names on the selection list.

Morris said it's “exciting that we've been able to give some players opportunit­ies who have been working hard and deserve their chance”.

Recruits Reid Crowe, Angus Durnan and Riley Hamilton will don the blue and gold for the first time.

Crowe is a former Kyabram senior (Goulburn Valley Football League), with a strong ability to rotate between midfield and forward positions.

Durnan is a 2020 Wagga Tigers premier and mobile on the forward line.

Bringing a strong midfield contest in Hamilton

Tom MacCallum, a former thirds midfielder, and Cable Fitzpatric­k, returning after a year with the Echuca Bombers under 18s, will make their debuts in senior footy.

Morris hopes for a big crowd to cheer on the Rams.

“We're excited to get our season underway, especially on our home turf in front of our supporters.”

Round one kicks off tomorrow at the Hardinge St Oval.

‘Hard, fast and skilful' is the Rams A and B netballers' motto for bringing punch to their opponents tomorrow.

They will meet Barooga at the Hardinge St netball courts, for round one of the Murray Football Netball League calendar.

“Be competitiv­e” is the message from Rhiannan Maxwell, new at the helm of both squads.

“We plan to finish our year strong, as last year we didn't so much.”

But hitting hard isn't the only message from Maxwell.

“I want everyone to have fun and enjoy their netball.

“If you're not having fun, chances are you're not going to play your best netball.”

Preseason has involved focus on footwork and plays down the court.

With no newbies and some player retention issues arising from the years affected by COVID, selection was a little less cut-throat this season, however it has allowed core players and a few juniors to make their debuts to form a tight A/B squad.

The A/B selection includes: Maxwell (playing coach), Steph Birk, Rachel Bull, Charlea Clarke, Alana Coates, Keely Coates, Molly Cochrane, Hannah Ford, Macie Free, Annie Harvey, Ella Harvey, Sam Hughes, Kayla Hussey, Elle Parsons, Amelia Seignior, Chloe Way and Bec White.

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