2017 squad takes shape
Over the past few weeks, Dave has met with the majority of the playing group, and is continuing to catch up with all existing players. Overwhelmingly, the group has embraced Dave’s enthusiasm and his planning with the likes of Brett Fruend, Josh Bryce, Ryan Quade, Matt Grocott, Dean Ross, Alex Page, and Jason Taylor – just to name a few – all quick to sign up for 2017.
With every season there’s always the usual turnover of players, but on a positive note this off-season so far has been nothing like the end of 2014 when 42 players left the club following the withdrawal from the NEAFL.
Following that exodus the Tigers blooded a number of young players, who took the opportunity to play senior football with both hands and went on to win an unlikely First Grade premiership in 2015. A number of those players have now become the core of the First Grade team and their commitment to jumper and Club is to be admired as they plan to stick together and attack the 2017 season and beyond.
There have been some key losses, with Kade Klemke, Andrew Swan and Cameron Milne all moving to the Canberra Demons to play in the NEAFL. Additionally, Christian Palombi will join Reed Stevens and Matt Vardanega as NEAFL Rookies and all three may not be seen much in the black and yellow week-in week-out.
The player losses from the 2016 Grand Final team provides opportunities for more of our young players to fill the void, with a number of the Rising Stars Grand Final team now making their way into the senior ranks next year and looking to impress in the off-season and pre-season to get their chance. Players in our Second Grade team who found quality players like Klemke, Swan and Milne hard to unseat from their spots in the squad now also have the chance to put their hand up to fill their shoes.
The Tigers have also been able to entice a couple of former players back on board – one returning from country football, one from a couple of years off due to Uni and work commitments; and one returning to his Tigers junior roots after spending the past few years with Ainslie. Stay tuned for further announcements about these signings.
As well as committing to our own local players Coach Corcoran is keen to continue the relationship the Tigers have had with school-based teams St Edmunds and Marist. Dave himself is a St Edmunds “old boy”, while Senior Assistant Paul Campbell is a Marist “old boy”. A large number of current senior players have progressed through these school teams with the likes of Jack Carroll-Tape, Scott Lancaster and Jono Bowyer (St Edmunds) and Dean Simpson and Jack O’Halloran (Marist) proving to be valuable members of the senior Tigers.
Coach Corcoran has also had many years of involvement in schoolboy football and has a keen eye on a number of promising young players moving through and out of the school system. We hope to entice a few more young players to join us in the black and yellow next year.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we announce some of the key signings for 2017 and begin shaping our senior squads.
Senior training starts Tuesday 15 November at Allinsure Park. Rising Stars commence at 5pm and Seniors at 6pm. Training continues Tuesdays and Thursdays until 8 Dec (Seniors) and 15 Dec (Rising Stars).