Saints back in ac­tion

Myrtle­ford kick starts 2019 cam­paign with 25 turn­ing out for academy test­ing day

Myrtleford Times - - Front Page - BY TATE SPI­TERI By TATE SPI­TERI tspi­[email protected]­me­

THE talk is over and the Myrtle­ford Saints are now into ac­tion.

Af­ter a year in re­cess, the Saints thirds team un­der­lined their com­mit­ment to re­turn a force with 25 play­ers par­tic­i­pat­ing in an academy day at McNa­mara Re­serve on Sun­day.

Con­firmed and prospec­tive play­ers were both in at­ten­dance while a num­ber were also un­avail­able.

Mur­ray Bushrangers hope- ful, Will Quirk, was crowned the in­au­gu­ral academy cham­pion af­ter he won the fa­tigue goal kick­ing chal­lenge and Nathan Buck­ley field kick­ing test as well as fig­ur­ing promi­nently in the agility screen­ing where he was just topped by Austin Wickes.

In other tests, Ry­ley For­rest’s 69cm sta­tion­ary ver­ti­cal leap reigned supreme and Lo­gan Wright smashed the field with a 6 minute, 51 sec­ond 2km time trial.

At se­nior level, the Saints are also set to go with Jake Sharp’s first of­fi­cial train­ing ses­sion in charge sched­uled for this Mon­day, No­vem­ber 19.

Sharp’s Saints re­ceived a big boost ear­lier this week with Ri­ley O’Shea, Tom McDon­agh and Brody Ri­cardi all putting pen to pa­per on two year deals at the club.

Talls O’Shea and McDon­agh re­turn to the club af­ter one year stints at Park­side (WRFL) and North Cairns re­spec­tively while Ri­cardi has crossed over from Bright.

And while O’Shea has just 39 goals from his 71 se­nior games at Myrtle­ford, due to play­ing mostly as a de­fender, Sharp has in­di­cated the 190cm left footer could help fill the void of out­go­ing coach Tim Looby in­side for­ward 50.

It makes for a new look for­ward setup for the Saints with smalls Ri­cardi and West­ern Aus­tralian re­cruit Jake Richards also likely to roll through the front six.

The dan­ger­ous Ri­cardi booted 26 goals from 14 ap­pear­ances in the Ovens and King this year while he also av­er­aged a goal a game for North­cote Park in Di­vi­sion 1 of the North­ern Foot­ball League in 2017.

Sharp has also con­firmed his coach­ing panel with for­mer co-coaches Brad Mur­ray and Leigh Corcoran com­ing on board as as­sis­tants.

Along with for­mer Wan­garatta coach, Mark Kno­bel, it means Sharp has three for­mer Ovens and Mur­ray se­nior coaches to lean on in his first year at the helm.

Ovens and King Premier­ship win­ning coach Scott McMasters has also been con­firmed to lead the re­serves for a third sea­son.

Bren­dan Wood will re­main in a strength and con­di­tion­ing role.

ON THE MOVE: Tex McIn­tosh (pic­tured) charges through the agility test at McNa­mara Re­serve on Sun­day. It has been a big week for the Saints with sign­ings at all lev­els on and off the field.

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