COACH: TYSON MCKENZIE MFL
PREMIERSHIPS: NONE 2016 FINISH: 12TH (0-18)
2016 BEST-AND-FAIREST: SAM FERGUSON
LEADING GOAL-KICKER: DILLON HAMMER (6)
GROUND: MEMORIAL PARK
If Congupna manages to drag itself out of the mire this year, it will be thanks in no small part to the new man at the helm of what was a sinking ship last year.
The Road went winless last year, something new playing coach Tyson McKenzie hopes to rectify early on in his tenure.
“We’re obviously not going to get ahead of ourselves, but if we can come in and get a win early on, it will instil belief into the boys and help change the mentality of always losing,” McKenzie said.
The former Mitcham midfielder has high hopes for his new, but simple, pre-season plan for The Road. “Fitness is the main aim this year, so far it’s been pretty full-on, but most of the boys are loving it,” he said.
“Initially it was a shock to the system and some boys came for a few sessions and we didn’t see them again, but everyone’s on board. “The way I look at it is if you get everyone 50 per cent fitter, then it’s like having a whole team of new recruits.”
Aside from any prospective internal improvement, McKenzie has also recruited well, bringing in fellow Eastern league speedster Mitch Skinner and Stanhope premiership player Jarrad Mason as a playing assistant coach.
“Realistically we’re aiming for about six wins this year, if we can beat the sides who were near us from last season and rattle a few top sides, we’ll be okay,” McKenzie said.
“It’s a fresh start for everyone.”
The Road has retained most of its list from last season, only losing Tyler Pedretti and Adam Brophy to Tallygaroopna, and will take confidence from the fresh start a new year brings.
“We just need to change the mentality,” McKenzie said.
“The boys will soon realise that if they push through the pain barrier the skill level will follow.”
GAME CHANGER: Tyson McKenzie Congupna’s new coach will slot straight into the middle for his side, adding much-needed class and poise. Aside from his on-field prowess, McKenzie brings a new lease on life for The Road. With new recruits outweighing those who have left and fitness levels at an all-time high, the former Mitcham star has literally changed the game already for his charges.
IN: Tyson McKenzie (Mitcham), Mitch Skinner (Silvan), Jarrad Mason (Stanhope), Daniel Schaper (Mooroopna), Alex Overs (Katamatite), Mitch Di Petta (Lancaster), Nick Woods (Girgarre)
OUT: Adam Brophy, Tyler Pedretti (Tallygaroopna)