WODONGA coach Ben Hollands believes star recruit John Pratt will bring more than possessions to the table for the Oven and Murray club this season.
Hollands said yesterday the former SANFL player had made a huge impact in his short time at John Flower Oval and expects his presence to help bring the best out of the club’s youngsters.
“We needed to add some leadership and he has slipped in and done that from day dot,” Hollands said.
“He has a good strong voice.
“You sometimes need some experience to push the young guys along.
“He’s been really good.”
Pratt, who was one of the league’s leading centremen during his time with Wangaratta Rovers, has also been making an impression playing cricket for New City making two half-centuries in four innings.
Hollands believes the Bulldogs are far advanced on last year heading into the break.
“A few of our recruits haven’t arrived yet, but things are going well,” he said.
“We have a young group, but I would say we are six weeks ahead of where we were at the same time last year.
“I just think they have had two or three pre-seasons and are able to handle the workload more.
“Our testing has shown some good results as a lot of our boys came back in really good shape.”
Hollands said Wodonga would like to add a key forward to its ranks to complement the arrival of recruits Zach Jones, Josh Hicks, Jared Worsteling, Andrew Carter and Pratt.
The Bulldogs will have a two-day break from training after Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, North Albury is poised to add brothers Nic and Kris Holman to its stocks.
The former Hoppers have been playing with Western Australia club Swan Districts and would add much-needed silk to the club’s midfield stocks.
North Albury coach Jason Akermanis could not be contacted for comment.