PERSONNEL wise, not much has changed at Osborne over the off-season.
But coach Matt Rava says it didn’t need to.
Osborne only has a handful of players over 25 including Hayden Gleeson, Rava, Jamie Parr and Andrew Johnston and the Cats are banking on natural improvement taking them to the next level.
The signs are promising.
They thrashed CDHBU in the opening round before holding off a gallant Culcairn in round two.
“We have a similar squad to last year and hopefully another year under the young blokes’ belt can help them along,” Rava said.
“The boys are pretty fit and we came out firing in round one which was really pleasing.
“It was a funny game against Culcairn because both sides turned the ball over a lot.
“We might have lost that game last year when they came back at us.
“I think we might have let it go, but we stood up and wrestled the lead back with the last two goals of the game so that’s a good sign.”
Osborne can set itself up for the rest of the season by rolling another finals challenger in Murray Magpies at Urana Road Oval on Saturday.
The Cats’ draw opens up after this weekend with a clash against Holbrook and they could find themselves with a 4-0 win-loss ratio.
Murray Magpies have been winning without hitting their straps and Daniel and Josh Maher, and Hayden Edwards will need more support to stay undefeated.
Brock-Burrum will be looking to continue their gradual improvement when they come up against CDHBU at Coreen.
“We had eight first-gamers in round one so it’s probably going to take a bit of time,” coach Kade Stevens said.
“Two wins is a good start though.
“Things have been going alright but there is room for improvement.”
The Saints will have Alex Wilson for the next two games before he goes overseas for several months and returns in August.
Henty will start favourites against Rand-Walbundrie-Walla at Henty.
The Swampies have faced a tough early draw but should get the points with Brent Ohlin firing.
RWW showed plenty of character to fight back and defeat Holbrook in their last outing and will need Todd Miller and Nick Turner to provide options in attack and Ryan Lavery to win plenty of the ball in the midfield.
Traditional rivals Holbrook do battle with Culcairn at Holbrook.
While the Brookers will go in as underdogs, they are expected to welcome back ruckman Aaron Baker and should give a good account of themselves.
Jindera will be too strong for Lockhart and Howlong’s pace should bring the Billabong Crows unstuck.