Who can stop the Purple Machine?

April 08, 2017

Dynamic duo: Nathalia key forwards Brett Vallender and Brodie Ross show the spoils of a memorable day. Vallender was named best-on-ground, with Ross the premier finals player.

The Murray Football League is bathing in a Purple reign.

Nathalia has dominated the league in every sense of the word since 2005 — winning seven flags and creating a genuine dynasty in the process.

After taking out last year’s premiership to complete yet another double, the Purple army will push for its second triple-crown in just a decade this season.

With returning star Ryan Butler back in the fold and a low list turnover, there is little reason why the Murray powerhouse cannot challenge once more.

A host of sides will be clambering to knock the perennial premier off its roost, though.

Mulwala has been decimated during the off-season, but could prove the feel-good story of the year with new coach Michael Tout keen to turn the Lions around.

His young side will be helped by the addition of Eastern Football League superstar Ash Froud, who is sure to dominate in most matches he plays.

Moama could slide down the ladder after failing to snare any marquee signings during the pre-season, while Finley has struggled to sign any players at all and faces an uphill battle to return to last year’s grand final form.

Tongala could catch a few teams off-guard with a new-look system to be employed at the club under new coach Travis Edwards, while Farran Priest leads a host of inclusions at the sure-to-be-resurgent Echuca United.

Barooga will once again be strong under the new leadership of co-coaches James Hazleman and Tyrone Downie, while Cobram must try to continue its rise up the ladder after moving from one win in 2015 to six last season.

Deniliquin will also look towards a distinctly youthful exuberance in the hopes of cultivating a list that can challenge in the near future.

With a fresh outlook at most clubs in the form of new head coaches, the theme of the league this year will most certainly be reinvention and rejuvenation as teams struggle for a foothold in what will again be an even season.

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