MFL MURRAY Football League players may be enjoying a break now, but come mid- season bodies will be sore.
This year will test coaches and trainers in managing players with one less bye in 2017 to compensate for the late start in April.
General manager Dale Norman, pictured, said a later round one had its positives and negatives, but overall would be a good thing for players.
‘‘It definitely helps in providing that break between summer and winter sports,’’ Norman said.
‘‘Players are just putting away their cricket whites and tennis racquets and then all of a
sudden are expected to put on a footy jumper or netball dress.
‘‘This way they have a little bit more of a break; but without that extra bye, this season will be testing for a lot bodies.’’ Round one starts April 8, by which time last year two rounds had already been played.
Norman expected an extraordinary year ahead with eight or nine clubs already likely contenders for the 2017 premiership.
‘‘We’ve already seen three incredible grand finals which have gone down to the wire and this year will be no different,’’ Norman said.
Since taking on the role in 2011, Norman had been impressed by the talent coming out of the league.
The Murray league has built a strong brand which focused on the development of juniors and players within its region as opposed to an influx of recruits.
‘‘There’s no doubt clubs are becoming more professional,’’ Norman said.
‘‘I’ve seen a remarkable increase in players’ skill levels and the quality of footballers and netballers we’re producing is outstanding.
‘‘Hopefully we can continue to build on this foundation, but it’s going to take a collective effort from all clubs to ensure that happens.’’