IT may only be round three but already it looks as though Beechworth has well and truly put last year’s horror season behind it.
“We had a bit of a rough year last year,” coach Brenton Surrey said.
“It felt like whatever could go wrong did go wrong.
“We had a bit of an exodus of players, the support probably died off a little, but we recruited well and we seem to have injected a bit of life back into the club.”
A solid pre-season saw the arrival of 10 new players in the senior team, including Chris Taylor from North Albury.
“They’ve all brought something to the club,” Surrey said.
“Taylor has definitely brought a bit of professionalism from the Hoppers.
“Braydon Carey is a previous winner of a league medal and has brought his knowledge back from WA as well as that desire to play for the club again.
“Everyone’s brought something little which is hopefully turning into something we can build on for the year.”
It helped the Bushrangers start their season with a bang, defeating Tallangatta in the opening round.
And although they lost to Kiewa-Sandy Creek last week the Bushrangers were still in touch at half-time.
Taylor booted three goals for the Bushrangers in their win against the Hoppers and four against the Hawks.
The win put them level with last year’s tally and has given the Bushrangers solid ground to advance.
“It was a bit of a relief for those who were around the club last year,” Surrey said.
“The boys played pretty well as a team that day.
“And we hope the season can only get better, we want everyone to gel together and really play as a team.”
But Surrey said the Bushrangers would have to be on their best game against Chiltern on Saturday.
“They run the ball very well and they’ve got some mature-bodied players so we’ll have to be (switched on to be) in the contest,” he said.
“The ball’s going to be won out of the midfield, but we’ll try run the ball as much as we can.
“We’re going to need everyone playing their role, you can’t rely on two or three blokes.
“It’s our bottom five six or seven we’re going to really need to contribute as much as our top five or six.
“There’s not a bad side this year and Chiltern are probably battling for the same spots we are so it’s going to be important to get the four points.”