New recruits add bite to coach’s plan

March 21, 2018

Mooroopna's Rhys McKenzie should add some class to Undera's playing stocks this season.

DESPITE a “pretty ordinary draw”, Undera coach Justin Torney is confident his new-look side can have a big impact on the Kyabram District Football League this season.

The Lions have the bye in round one and will begin their 2018 campaign against Nagambie in round two.

“We face a few of the top sides early on which makes it a bit hard, but we have had a really good pre-season,” Torney said.

“We have been going since January 8, and since then I think we have been building nicely.”

Season 2017 proved to be a tough one for Undera, finishing last on the KDFL ladder – just behind Longwood on percentage.

However, Torney is buoyed by the prospect of leading a fresh list.

“I think when we play round one we will have around 15 senior players who weren’t at the club last year so we are excited by that,” he said.

The Lions have lured Bonnie Doon midfielder Kaine Herbert, who looks set to take the competition by storm.

Herbert took out the Ovens and King League best and fairest in 2016, finishing six votes clear of his next competitor, and also starred for the inter-league side that downed the Tallangatta League in 2017.

“He looks to be a really good footballer,” Torney said.

Torney is also looking forward to seeing what Rhys McKenzie from Mooroopna can bring to the table.

McKenzie has played more than 50 senior games at the Cats over the past four seasons, including 33 in 2017 and 2018.

The Lions faced Tongala in a practice match two weeks ago, and went up against Tocumwal on Saturday.

“We won by about 15 goals on the weekend which was really pleasing for us to see a result like that,” Torney said.

In its final preparations for the season ahead, Undera will face Yarroweyah at home this Saturday.

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