Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Katunga aims to move up pecking order

Katunga has new additions to ranks as begins preparations for a new football season.

MATTHEW GALEA December 4, 2013 4:10am

Katunga started what promises to be a rigorous pre-season campaign on Monday night and it had a few reinforcements.

Ex-Shepparton Swans vice-captain Josh Wellington headlines three recruits for the Swans ahead of next season, when they will hope to build on last season’s disappointing seventh-placed finish.

Numurkah’s Matt John and Dylan Sidebottom have also joined Daniel Burness’ new-look Swans.

‘‘They’re big pick ups for us and it’s good to get them on board,’’ Burness said.

‘‘They’ll bring a bit more professionalism to the club.’’

Burness said he was looking to rejuvenate a side that critically lacked consistency during the last campaign with a mixture of new blood and youth, with seven of last year’s under-17 side moving into the senior squad.

‘‘From where we finished last year and how strong the league was, it just goes to show that if we want to move forward as a club we have to look at filling in a few gaps,’’ Burness said.

‘‘We’re looking for a fair bit of improvement from within as well and I think it’s a great opportunity for the likes of Oliver Small and Adam Hicks to learn off some of the guys that have come in.’’

Burgess said the additions of Wellington and John would greatly boost the club’s midfield stocks, where he feels it was a bit light on last year, while Sidebottom would complement a forward line that already includes Luke McPhillamy, Eamon Reeves and Clint Phillips, who have all been retained.

‘‘There’s a good feeling about the club, as there was last year,’’ Burness said.

‘‘It would have been if we hadn’t signed anyone, because the guys that were here last year want to improve and they weren’t happy with how we finished last season.

‘‘A lot of the younger guys who played seniors last year will be able to just focus on senior footy this year instead of having to play in the morning and then worrying about turning out for the seniors.

‘‘The numbers situation is better than last year, everyone that’s moving up from thirds is hanging around and that will help the reserves as well as us because there will be a lot more competition for spots.’’

Burness said the club was still looking to add one or two more players to its list before the start of the new season.

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