• Loddon Herald

Redbacks, Pies eager for season

BOORT Magpies are hoping for on-field success in 2021 after steady recruiting since appointing new coach Andrew Hawker almost 18 months ago.

The Magpies and Loddon rival in the North Central League, Wedderburn Redbacks, hit the training track last week ahead of the planned return to match football after more than 18 months.

Pies’ secretary Brooke Arnold told the Loddon Herald: “Everyone is excited to get back to the club. We are looking forward to the 2021 season and are hopeful of some success on the field.”

She said recruiting in the extended off-season had included new assistant coach Ben Knight.

Knight, the Loddon Valley League Harding Medalist in 2017, spent two seasons with Heathcote league club North Bendigo where he was a member of the premiership side in 2019.

Returning to the Magpies are Brodie Leonard-Shannon, Pat Boges and Reece Boland after stints in the Loddon Valley league.

Brooke said training started with a fitness session run by SoFitness29 trainers Sherryn and Chris O’Flaherty “with everyone keen to get the season going”.

Reserves coaches at the Pies this season are Samuel Griffiths and Matt Hodoras, Under 16 Harry Weaver and Under 13 Greg Boyd.

Boort won just two games in 2018 and were winless in 2019.

Meanwhile, Wedderburn Redbacks are continuing to develop an enthusiastic young team with a possible eye on finals this season for the first time since the last of their four-in-a-row flags in 2014.

Co-coach Danny Benaim said: “The club is up and about early as everyone is very keen to get into the season after having so long off. We still have quite a young list which is very enthusiastic about getting back involved in the club environment.”

Benaim, sharing duties with Sam Barnes, said key signings by the Redbacks this season included Will Holt, Jayden Baber and Jayden Leach.

Holt, a former Bendigo Pioneers junior player, is returning to Wedderburn after a stint with Sandhurst in the Bendigo league.

“We also have Jordan Rosengren and Luke Edwards who actually signed for 2020 but obviously haven’t played a game for us yet!” Benaim told the Loddon Herald.

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