Raiders keen for season to start

April 06, 2018

Under 16 player Austin Linahan playing against Castlemaine, Border Raiders juniors.

WITH the rest of the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League kicking off on Sunday, the Moama Echuca Border Raiders have one final week to be ready.

While the other 10 teams begin their normal season campaigns on Sunday, the Raiders have the bye. But they will be fielding sides in the second tier, youth and women’s competitions.

Raiders president Darryl Brown said his sides ‘‘can’t wait’’ and Sunday cannot come quick enough.

‘‘As a club it’s going to be great to get the season under way,’’ Brown said.

‘‘We’ve been flat out since February getting fixtures and everything ready. We’ll be able to settle down and get into a routine once the season starts.

Brown has high hopes for the men’s top side, saying it could be the best team the club has seen since 2014.

‘‘Probably the best in the last three or four years at least. We ended up third on the ladder four years ago, then fourth and have been going downhill since then.

‘‘We’ve rebuilt since then and have had some great players come back either to play or coach.

‘‘They want to be back at the club and help out. And that’s the type of culture we want to build,’’ he said.

The club will hold its annual jumper presentation night tonight at the Moama Sports Club, part of the Raiders’ wider focus on the social side of the sport.

‘‘We started it (jumper presentations) last year and it was a pretty popular night and so we thought we’d do it again,’’ Brown said.

‘‘We certainly want to focus on doing a few more social things to keep those relationships up across the club this year.’’

As for the games this weekend at Jack Eddy Oval against Swan Hill, Brown predicts a strong first showing from his sides.

‘‘The women’s game will be interesting, we will do okay, but we do have a number of girls away,’’ he said.

‘‘I like to think we’ll play like we did against Kyneton recently — that gave me confidence.

‘‘We went up there not as fit as we’d like to be. We had no one on the bench and they all lasted. Asha Davies, an 11 year old, lasted the whole game.

‘‘Ally Hourigan is another young one I’d like to see out on the park. They’re two future players this year at the Raiders.

‘‘But we’ve had some very good inclusions in the ones and twos for our men’s also. I’ll say we may well win both games,’’ he said.

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