COACH: GARY PARSONS MFL
PREMIERSHIPS: 1957, 1966, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1985, 1986, 1996, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2011.
2016 FINISH: TENTH (4–14)
2016 BEST-AND-FAIREST: OLIVER DRAFFIN
2016 LEADING GOAL-KICKER: BRODY LUMBER (24)
GROUND: HARDINGE ST OVAL
Experienced Deniliquin coach Gary Parsons is full of optimism heading into the season.
He says there is a similar feeling around the place to 2011, when his young side surprised the competition by winning the flag.
While Parsons doesn’t expect a repeat of that extraordinary season, he says his side is full of enthusiasm, which has been reflected on the training track.
The club has added star Wagga Tigers premiership defender John Anstee and welcomed back premiership defender Rob Resuggan and onballer Charlie Trotman to an exciting young list.
“We know where we’re at and a flag isn’t in our grasp — yet,” Parsons said. “As long as we can improve and keep on improving then we could be challenging in two to three years’ time if we can keep this young group together.
“One of our greatest advantages this year should be our fitness and our speed.” Anstee and Resuggan will lead a strong backline, with club stalwart Anthony Bull and Jayden Pitts a chance to play forward this year.
The Rams are spoilt for choices in the midfield with Oliver Draffin, Todd Gallagher, last year’s MFL rising star Matt MacDonald and Rick Gittens. Seasoned ruckman Chris O’Connor will lead the onball brigade.
“We’re really happy with the squad we’ve got and we’ve had good numbers at our pre-season training,” Parsons said.
IN: John Anstee (Wagga Tigers), Tom McGregor (Inverell Saints), Charles Trotman (South Bendigo), Dylan East, Matt Atley, Andrew Hogan (Deni Rovers), Rob Resuggan, Jason Allitt (year away)
OUT: Brody Lumber (Deni Rovers), Matt O’Connor (Blighty)
GAME CHANGER: John Anstee The Rams are expecting big things from exciting new recruit John Anstee. The key position player was one of the premier defenders in the Riverina Football League last season, winning a flag with Wagga Tigers.