Footy is back.
Almost 15 months after Corowa-Rutherglen hosted its last competition game, the Roos returned to John Foord Oval for the start of pre-season training on Monday night.
"It's exciting to have footy back on John Foord Oval, I don't know how many have commented on how good the ground looks in 2023," coach Steve Owen said.
"It's good to put down the phone and actually get out there with the footys, having a kick, and start putting the groundwork in for 2024."
The Roos were forced out of the 2023 competition due to a player shortage and their clubrooms were flooded.
Owen and the football club have contacted hundreds of players since in targeting its reset.
Meanwhile, one of those contacted has adopted NRL supercoach Wayne Bennett's mantra as he returns to football after two years.
Sam Banfield didn't play during a two-year stint in Sydney with his work in the banking industry, but is itching to return for the Roos.
"I think as you get older you realise you don't have a lot of time left," the 29-year-old reasoned.
"At an older age, I realised I probably could have given more as a young kid, I was a bit naive, so coming back is to test myself and leave no stone unturned."
Bennett's 2002 book, 'Don't Die With The Music In You', is about making the most of your time in all facets of life.
"The Ovens and Murray is a good, strong league, I just wanted to test myself one more time so I can say I tried my best when I hang them up," Banfield explained.
Banfield's motto will reflect the Roos' mentality.
"Listening to (coach) Steve (Owen) and (assistant coach) Ben (Talarico), they gave me the back story of what happened last season and it piqued my interest and I feel like I've got a bit more experience on my side to help the young kids coming through," he revealed.
Banfield's father Peter played for Essendon and Brisbane Bears and he was also an assistant coach at St Kilda and Melbourne.
"I'm living with dad at the moment, he lives and breathes footy, he goes a bit psycho (without it) in the off-season," Banfield laughed.
"He's my role model in life and someone I look up to, he always said to me he retired too young.
"I think any chance to pick his brain about footy during the season, he and I will sit there and talk about what a team should have done or where a player should have run, we're always talking about footy."
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