The pre-season is over and the countdown is on — the Saints begin their charge for the flag next Saturday.
The Benalla Saints are raring to go in the Goulburn Valley League and take on Mooroopna on April15.
Saints head coach Luke Morgan said he expected nothing less than a convincing win to start the season against last season’s cellar dwellers Mooroopna.
‘‘It’s a new season and no-one knows a lot about each other yet, but we’ll be going across to Mooroopna and we need a win to start the season,’’ Morgan said.
‘‘It’s vital if we want to do well this year.
‘‘Our goal is absolutely to head out and win next Saturday.’’
The Saints’ opening game against Mooroopna is being played away, and will kick off at 2pm.
During the Saints’ 10-point loss to the Shepparton Bears in Saturday’s final pre-season match, Morgan said he experimented with the team dynamics and player positions.
‘‘They got us by 10 in the end, but the Bears will be a really strong side this year, and while the score is important, we were trying a few things and were playing players out of position and trying the new kids and things like that,’’ he said.
‘‘We maneuvered a few players round and tried a few things... I’m fairly happy with the way things panned out.’’
Meanwhile, Morgan kept his cards close to his chest when asked by The Ensign about team selection for the season opener, or naming a club captain.
‘‘Not at this stage, I can’t,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve got a final meeting this weekend where that will be sorted.’’
The Saints will hold a family day at the Benalla Showgrounds on Sunday to launch its season.
On Sunday, the club will host free netball and football clinics from 11am to 12.30pm.
The clinics are open to all children aged between five and 12.
A free sausage sizzle will also be provided for lunch.
Players, both football and netball, will then be presented with their playing uniforms for the upcoming season.
President Graham Pollard said the whole community was invited to attend and enjoy the day.