Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Moama Magpies unveil new recruits

Moama Football Club has secured eight new faces for the 2013 Murray Football League season.

ZACH HUBBER January 3, 2013 4:04am

Moama Football Club’s (from back left) Tom Merrett, Michael Sage, Tyler Jones, Ayden Walton; (front) Ben Welch and Matt Rickard.

A charm of senior Magpies is set to support Moama’s rise up the Murray Football League ladder, with eight fresh faces, and possibly more, to don the black and white in 2013.

Moama finished 11th on the ladder last season with just two wins, a far cry from its third-place results in 2011 and ’10.

Former Leitchville-Gunbower players Ben Welch, Ayden Walton and Tyler Jones — the latter finished third in the Heathcote and District Football League Cheatley medal — headline the new recruits, with Welch appointed assistant coach.

Former Magpies Matt Rickard, Paul Van der Sluys and Michael Sage will return, while former Bendigo Pioneers and Echuca player Tom Merrett has also signed.

Past SANFL and VFL midfielder Josh Maddox, the younger brother of coach Simon Maddox, will also add depth to the side.

Simon Maddox, who enters his second season at the helm, said the club had recruited well.

‘‘We’re a bit more organised this year and recruited to a plan,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve tried to get senior, hardened footballers. That’s what we thought we were missing last year and that’s what we’ve gone out and got.

‘‘It feels like we’re in a better place now than this time last year.’’

Maddox hoped the younger players would flourish with another season under their belts and with the help of the senior inclusions.

‘‘We can push the younger guys out to peripheral roles where they should be playing and a few of the bigger-bodied blokes, who have played more footy, can play more senior roles,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re still definitely about youth and playing more kids. We haven’t gone out and recruited a whole new side.

‘‘We’ve recruited guys who complement the younger blokes and hopefully those guys with 20 or 30 games under their belts will reap the rewards of that this year, next year and so on.’’What excited Maddox most was the looming pressure for spots in the senior side.‘‘From January it’s all systems go and if blokes don’t want to train, then they won’t have a spot,’’ he said.

‘‘The competition for spots is something we didn’t have last year.’’

But Maddox would not list his expectations for the team, saying creating a tight-knit group was key to future success.

He said he was looking forward to creating that environment with new assistant coach Welch, whom he played alongside at Echuca.

‘‘Ben will have more of a one-on-one role with individual players,’’ Maddox said.

‘‘He’s been really refreshing and brought new ideas to the table, which is good.’’

Welch said the opportunity to coach with Maddox and the extensive travel while playing for Leitchville-Gunbower were the main reasons for making the move.

In other coaching news, Andrew McIntosh has been appointed coach of the reserves side, replacing Tim Easton.

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