MOAMA Football Club endured its fair share of bad luck with injuries in recent seasons.
But with a newly appointed coach at the helm, the hope is that this season will see fate swing in favour of the Mowers.
Mark Lloyd has come on board from the Central Murray League, where he played for Kerang, to try and bring about the club’s second Murray Football League flag (to build on its first in 2010).
It was the club’s determination and capacity to win games against the odds that enticed Lloyd to the coaching role at Moama.
“They made the grand final two years ago and preliminary final this year (2016) with a lot of senior guys going down with injury,”
Lloyd said when he was first appointed late last year.
“To still make a preliminary final shows a lot of fight and spirit; which are two key ingredients in winning a premiership.”
Moama made it through to the preliminary finals in 2016 despite a depleted list which included the loss of some big names in Tyler Jones, Rhys Archard, Daniel Thorp and James Scambler due to injury.
Adrian Dohnt, who was key to getting Moama that far, will not be returning after retiring at the end of the season.
Lloyd said the goal for the upcoming season was to make finals and strong numbers at pre-season trainings was a promising sign for the new coach.
“We’ve been averaging numbers in the high 30s,” he said.
“It’s something new to me as clubs I’ve been to in the past didn’t get near as many numbers as that.
“A majority of the list are strong and fit and we haven’t got any injuries at the moment,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd hoped to remain injury free come round one as his team negotiates its way through some practice matches with Northcote Park and North Bendigo in the build up to the start of the regular home-and- away season.
Jordan Ives will be a handy addition to the Moama side having spent the off-season playing up in Darwin for the Waratah Football Club in the Northern Territory Football League.
Lachlan Thorp has also returned to the nest after playing four seasons in Melbourne for Northcote Park.
Jake Hare has followed Lloyd from the Central Murray League, where he turned out for Barham-Koondrook.
Hare missed the bulk of the pre-season while overseas but is sure to bring some versa- tility to the forward line, which will be missing the previous season’s leading goal-scorer Jones for thefi rst part of the season.
“They’re probably the three we’re really looking forward to seeing come round one,” Lloyd said.
“Liam Ritchie is one of the young guys coming through the junior ranks who has stood out at training as well as Zac Cockayne who has come across from Echuca Bombers this year.”
Shannon Fink from FITmob Echuca has been working on strength and conditioning with the players at training and has given players a good grounding for round one and an exciting season ahead.
The key three
Moama’s Rhys Archard is a versatile midfielder and will be a powerful addition to the side in 2017.
He signed on for another season despite talks of retirement at the end of 2016, which also ended with a broken jaw.
Accuracy and determina- tion will be the biggest strengths of Moama forward Tyler Jones after missing the second-half of 2016 with a knee injury.
He’ll enter the side mid- season and be vital in adding some wins to the board.
It is uncertain what impact Koondrook- Barham export Jake Hare will have at Moama in 2017, but the coach has promised a lot from the forward.
A new face might be what the Mowers need to bring home another flag.