COACHES: CHRIS O’DWYER AND LUCAS WHITE
MFL PREMIERSHIPS: 1932, 1933, 1937, 1938, 1950, 1951, 1953, 1962, 1970, 1977, 1979, 1999, 2000
2016 FINISH: FIFTH (11–8)
2016 BEST-AND-FAIREST: JOSH EVANS
2016 LEADING GOAL-KICKER: JOSH EVANS (57)
GROUND: NUMURKAH SHOWGROUNDS
After a week one finals exit last year, Numurkah’s intentions for this year are clear-cut.
“We’re setting ourselves for finals and we aren’t going to shy away from that,” coach Chris O’Dwyer said.
“To say we’re going to take each game round by round is a cliché, we think we have the right mix to challenge this year.”
Lucas White, who will control a lot of behind-the-scenes and training work, completes the coaching duo while O’Dwyer continues his game-day role.
The Blues have recruited strongly and are poised for a real crack at the Murray league heavyweights this season.
“After three or so years of building, we’re at the stage now where the boys all know each other’s games and are ready to do their best,” O’Dwyer said.
“The signs are really positive, everyone is working hard.”
Headlining an impressive list of recruits is returning past captain Nick Fothergill, who won the Canberra Demons’ NEAFL best-and-fairest in 2015 and will be a superb addition to the Blues’ midfield.
Veteran Brad Vassal, who boasts a resume as long as Goulburn Valley Hwy, also joins the club to further boost playing stocks.
Vassal, who has multiple premierships under his belt, has been plying his trade in the NTFL and NEAFL recently.
Complementing the new players to the club will be players coming back from injury, including young stars Luke McKeown and Ben Smyth, as well as senior assistant and thirds coach Jye Warren.
With minimal names on the other side of the recruiting ledger, Numurkah should be primed for a strong season after multiple years without any real success.
“At the end of the day, talk is cheap, we’ll let our actions do the talking,” O’Dwyer said. “We’ll know where we’re at come round four or five.”
IN: Nick Fothergill (Eastlake and Canberra Demons), Jai Morrison (Nathalia), Mitch Jones (Skipton), Will Arnel, Tim Arnel (St Joseph’s), Brad Vassal, Luke McKeown, Ben Smyth, Jye Warren (injury)
OUT: Scott Leetham (Braybrook), Scott Riordan (Queensland), Brett Dickinson(Redan) Rumbalara
GAME CHANGER: Nick Fothergill The former Blues captain and 2012 best-and-fairest winner will be a brilliant addition to Numurkah’s midfield. The 2015 Canberra Demons NEAFL best-and-fairest winner brings with him sublime skills and adds some much-needed leadership. Fothergill should star once again in the Murray Football League.