Wimmera-Mail Times | WITH a new coach at the helm the Dimboola Roos will be looking to jump back up the Wimmera Football League ladder after taking out the wooden spoon last season.
The side managed just one win last season but with club favourite Al McKinnon taking the reigns the side will look to sneak into finals contention in 2017.
During the off season the club has focused on internal recruiting including bringing past players back to the club.
McKinnon said past players returning to the club have lifted the group as well as adding more guidance and leadership.
“We should see three or five new faces in the round one lineup,” he said.
“Most players in our side will be taking on different roles.
“When you finish the way we did last year you need to evolves and change.”
The team will look toward former Toohey Medal winner Justin Chilver to have a big year.
McKinnon expects Darcy Dobbs, Jack Wood and Kieran Fraser to want to step up into a bigger role this season.
The side will need to cover for the loss of last year’s coach Hamish Exell as well as his brother Lachlan.
“They will both be big losses on and off the field,” McKinnon said.
Overall McKinnon things the league will tighten up this coming season and he sees Dimboola’s increasing competitiveness as part of that.
“I still think last year’s Grand Finalist are still the teams to beat,” he said.
Where do expect improvement to come?
Our improvement has already come on the track to a degree. With some of our past players returning the group has lifted and adding a couple more will give our up and coming player more guidance and leadership.
How will your style be changing this year?
Game style will be something we will keep working on week to week and is still taking shape; that;s bound to happen with a freshened up list and some past players that have not seen a lot of game time in recent years.
What has you most excited about this season?
The opportunity to work with a great bunch of blokes on and off the field, lead a club that has all the challenges ahead of us, push up the ladder in what I see as a tightly contested year and what better way to test yourself than from the bottom up.
Who do you think will be the team to beat?
I think the Wimmera League will tighten up this year in the middle ranks but still see last year’s Grand Finalist as the teams to beat.