Murray Bushrangers begin training for season 2013.MARC MCGOWAN December 8, 2012 4:44am
Murray Bushrangers players engage in handballing drills at training on Thursday. A big summer awaits them.
The warm temperature and extra numbers on the track were the main giveaways the Murray Bushrangers weren’t deep into another TAC Cup season.
It was otherwise business as usual as the latest batch of Bushrangers, almost 100 of them, trained at Shepparton’s Rumbalara Sports Complex on Thursday night.
The likes of Shepparton United’s Matt Brett and Cobram’s Cadeyn Williams, who hope to join AFL ranks in Tuesday’s rookie draft, were among them.
Two of the Bushrangers’ brightest draft prospects for next year — Shepparton’s Jarman Impey, an AIS-AFL Academy graduate, and Nathan Drummond, who impressed at this year’s national under-18 championships, were also there.
Shepparton’s B. J. Squire, Kyabram’s Nick Holman and Lavington’s Mick Gibbons, who was runner-up in the Bushrangers’ best-and-fairest award last season, are others with their names up in lights.
But Bushrangers coach Darren Ogier, entering his fourth season in charge after starting at the under-18 club as an assistant in 2007, was quick to point out there was much hard work ahead.
‘‘It’s really hard to say (who our best draft chances are for next year) and I’m not going to pre-empt anyone at this stage of the game,’’ Ogier said.
‘‘There is still a lot of really hard work in front of them, but some of the boys have got the runs on the board.
‘‘The thing you want to see is how much they improve between those bottom-age and top-age years.
‘‘They have to improve, but it’s really interesting from our perspective to see who does improve and takes that next step. Not all of them do.’’
Ogier said Bushrangers coaches, including new assistant and ex-Mooroopna senior mentor Brad Campbell, would do ‘‘everything in our power’’ for the players, but much of the improvement came down to the individual.
The TAC Cup and under-16 Bushrangers’ squads started pre-season training on November 18 and will train at Wodonga Senior Secondary College each Wednesday and Rumbalara Sports Complex on Thursdays.
There will also be semi-regular Sunday morning sessions at Wangaratta for TAC Cup-listed players.
‘‘It’s basically just about getting the kids back involved and playing footy,’’ Ogier said.
‘‘It’s more getting their fitness base right and improving on some skill-set areas.
‘‘There is a lot of observation here — we don’t miss much — and, even at the next level, character is a huge component of footy players and if they don’t have the right character, clubs won’t pick them.’’
Ogier said there was a lack of height in the Bushrangers’ TAC Cup squad for next year, but there were some ‘‘good running players’’ and the ‘‘talent pool is good’’.
‘‘It seems like we haven’t had a break, but, having said that, we certainly had some time off and got refreshed and we’re looking at lists again and pretty much straight into it,’’ he said.
‘‘We just want to continue to improve our program and make sure we have the best kids.’’
The sky is the limit for Wanganui Year 12 VCAL student Leigh Polan, 18, who decided to create two posters examining birdlife around the school.
The under 16 Pigeons kick started the YFNC's finals campaign with a resounding victory over the Paul Spargo led Scots College in the Grand Final of the AWJFL Elwyn Langford Shield at the Albury Sports Ground on Sunday.
Greater Shepparton City Council was successful in securing the National Cutting Horse Association Victorian Futurity Cutting Horse Championships for 2014 and 2015, with this year’s event scheduled from September 10-14 at Tatura Park.
An ad for the Healthy Ageing Project will be filmed in Echuca, Rushworth and Rochester today.
More than $15,000 was raised at a family day on Sunday. The event was to raise money for the families of Barry Purtell and Dave Lobb.
Book Week gets colourful turnout.
Deaprtment of Environment and Primary Industries unhappy about Mt Disappointment vandals.
Jerilderie Shire deputy mayor Ruth McRae handed the key over for the new Rural Fire Service station last Friday.
Farmers have a new weapon in the fight against mice.
Cobram kids learn about health with hospital as state-wide obesity campaign is launched.
Murray Irrigation to search for new boss after Anthony Couroupis finishes with the company.
A few anxious customers were outside the closed gates of the failed Bee-Jay Machinery business on Goulburn Valley Hwy in Shepparton on Tuesday morning, wondering what would become of deposits they had paid for tractors and other machinery.
The Benalla Indian Myna Action Group will pay a $1 per bird bounty on live birds delivered to CAL farm. National Party MP Bill Sykes donated $100 to fund the bounty.
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