Shepparton Football Club has introduced a number of recruits for next season as it looks to turn its on-field fortunes around under coach Brad Campbell.MATTHEW GALEA December 16, 2013 4:10am
Nathan Reid, Nathan Turner, Daniel Willis, Joel Thompson, Brett Vallender, Rupert Sangster, Ted Lindon, Xavier Stevenson and Glen Vallender are just some of the new faces at Shepparton.
The road ahead might be a long and hard one for Shepparton Football Club, but Brad Campbell is working overtime to ensure the Bears become much more competitive in Goulburn Valley Football League.
The Bears finished this year winless, but there is a renewed sense of belief about the club with Campbell at the helm, helped in large part by the swag of recruits the club has already secured.
In addition to the return of Will Patone from Cobram, the Bears have secured the services of Ryan Pfeiffer, Xavier Stevenson, Rupert Sangster, Nathan Turner, Daniel Willis, Ted Lindon, Brett and Glen Vallender, Callum Whitehead, Nathan Reid and Andrew Taylor.
‘‘Xav Stevenson, the Vallenders, Andy Taylor, Nathan Turner have already played here, so that was a bit of a priority for us,’’ Campbell said.
‘‘But we will need to start looking outside of that.’’
The Bears have already started that process, with Campbell suggesting that Dan Willis could be a big hit, having arrived after kicking 93 goals in the Southern Football League for Murrumbeena this year, while Sangster could be another to look out for.
‘‘We’ve still got a way to go, we’re coming from a long way back, but we’ve got to start somewhere and the guys we’ve got on board can all play roles in the senior side,’’ Campbell said.
‘‘It’s given us more depth and not only with the senior recruits, but we’d like to think that a lot of the thirds can come up into senior level and give us a bit as well.’’
Nikolaus Rokahr, Mitch Brett, Lachlan Baldwin and James Lloyd are all expected to push on and make a mark on the senior side at Shepparton.
Just as important as the new blood on the pitch, Campbell is also excited to have nailed down key off-field roles which he hopes will help to establish a strong platform from which to build.
‘‘Our off-field is taking good shape and it’s a great opportunity for guys who want to learn to come in, because we’ve got a great coaching crew that can be really hands-on with the boys,’’ Campbell said.
Jason Wells, Murray Bushrangers under-16s coach Scott Christie, ex-Kyabram best-and-fairest Stephen Kerwin, Darren Humphries, Craig McIntyre and Kyle Power are just some of the names that make up the Bears’ off-field crew, which Campbell believes makes Shepparton as good a club as any for any youngsters looking to test themselves at GVFL level.
The Bears will wind up their pre-Christmas training this week, ending a five-week program which has produced some encouraging signs for Campbell.
‘‘Most of the guys have got a fair bit of work into them and we’d like to think that what we’ve done so far is putting us in a decent position.’’
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Some of Australia’s greatest horses and just a few racetrack characters have appeared at the Benalla Racing Club’s grounds in its 150-year history.
Benalla's Kevin Harper will be honoured in the motorcade lap of honour at Melbourne Cricket Ground tomorrow for his service during the Korean War.
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