WODONGA Saints coach Terry Burgess is confident his team can build on last year’s five wins.
With five new faces — Patrick Vallance, Jacob Schliebs, Charlie Kerr, Jay Berry and Hugh Edmondston — to debut against Rutherglen in tomorrow’s standalone season opener against Rutherglen at Birallee Park, Burgess has reason to be optimistic.
“I think we are placed better than last year,” he said.
“Hopefully with the new recruits we have are a better mix in the group with body size and experience.
“We need to compete for longer and convert those narrow losses into wins.
“We lost five games by under 10 points so hopefully we can improve on that as well.”
While few would dispute the Saints are better on paper than last year, their biggest concern is most other teams can say the same thing.
And Rutherglen is one of them.
The Cats have covered the big losses of Chris Oates, Steve O’Keefe and Sean Curtis by recruiting goalkicking machine Brendan Sessions, Dallas Gallagher, Seamus Bromley and David Pinney.
“They look pretty much the same as last year,” Burgess said.
“They are a good little team and were virtually in the five until the last round.
“Like most clubs, Rutherglen has lost a couple and picked up a couple over the off-season.
“They are probably in front of where they were.”
Rutherglen finished as last year’s hard luck story after being knocked out of the top five with a seven-point loss to Kiewa-Sandy Creek in round 18.
That motivation and the fact they defeated the Saints by 108 points in their last meeting will see them start favourites on Saturday.