COACH: JON VARCOE
2016 FINISH: PREMIER (17–1)
2016 BEST-AND-FAIREST: TAYLOR BEARD
2016 LEADING GOAL-KICKER: TAYLOR BEARD (46)
GROUND: PICOLA RECREATION RESERVE
Usually the premier becomes the hunted after reaching the summit of the football mountain.
Not if you ask Picola United coach Jon Varcoe though.
“We can definitely still hunt the opposition, we have a lot of improvement in us,” he said.
“We’ve got exciting junior talent on the list already and another crop of thirds ready to step up.
“When you add the fact that we have very good reserves, I think we have improvement coming from everywhere.”
Varcoe is not wrong in his assessment of the Blues’ list, with the reserves also taking out the premiership last season and the thirds falling at the final hurdle.
Fitness has been a huge focus during the pre-season, with personal trainer Mark Ryan stepping up into an assistant coaching role.
“One of our key planks in making sure we play the way we want to play is to be very fit,” Varcoe said.
“We strive to have fun as a group, but we’re also trying to be professional and successful.”
The Blues lose quality premiership players Darby Walsh and league medallist David Daniel, but gain high-end talent in Blake Jorgenson, Travis Morgan and returning 2015 leading goal-kicker Daniel Atkinson.
“Our aim is to be playing finals and going deep,” he said.
IN: Blake Jorgenson (Shepparton Swans), Travis Morgan (Rumbalara), Darcy O’Neill (Echuca), Rhys Woodland (Lockington-Bamawm), Nathan Walsh (Koondrook-Barham), Daniel Atkinson (year off)
OUT: James Coppock (Echuca United), David Daniel (Waaia), Darby Walsh (Murchison-Toolamba), Todd Hicks (Nathalia), Sam Sperling (Wandella),
Brad Power (Kyabram)