The Young Cherrypickers are ready to rip into the 2018 Group 9 Rugby League season after working hard in the pre-season.
Young’s first game of the season will be against Tumut at Alfred Oval in Young on Sunday.
Captain-Coach James Woolford said the Cherrypickers are set for a big game to open the year.
“The boys are really looking forward to it as it’s been a long pre-season,” he said.
“A win would be nice, but we’ll go into the weekend just worrying about ourselves and how we perform and the rest will hopefully follow.”
Coach Woolford said the Cherrypickers would play some solid football for supporters in 2018.
“Our forward pack is looking good, they’ve all been training hard and are ready to go,” he said.
“Individually, Bobbie Roberts will be one to watch. His experience and skills will hopefully add a lot to the team.”
Woolford said the ‘Pickers would try to improve on things that let them down in 2017.
“One area we’ll be hoping to improve on is our starts to games,” he said.
“If we can get out to a good start then hopefully it will have a roll on effect into the rest of the game.”
The Cherrypickers have a fairly even list for 2018, but Coach Woolford said he is keen to promote youth.
“Some young guys coming through to keep an eye on would be young Nayah Freeman, after missing most of last year he’s had a big preseason and will be a great inclusion for us, also Casey Wall and Guy Smith,” he said.
“Wall and Smith both played first-grade last year but seem to be getting better and better with age so I’m excited to see how they can keep improving.”
The ‘Pickers fell agonisingly short of a grand final appearance last year after losing both games in the finals.
But rather than weigh down his players with finals expectations Woolford has taken a small goal approach to the season.
“Like every club we’ll be looking to make it to the finals at the end of the comp, every player plays to be involved in those type of games,” he said.
“But, we won’t be focused on finals much at the moment though. We want to start the year well and we can assess where we’re at after a few games and go from there.”
Woolford said he is hoping for a big crowd at this Sunday’s game.
“The club and team are hoping we can get some good numbers in the crowd at home games,” he said. “The support of the town is always appreciated and we hope to see you at Alfred Oval this Sunday.”