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Roos aim for back-to-back

Saturday, 21st March, 2015

Nathan Agius with eyes firmly on the ball during his side’s pre-season training on Thursday night. PICTURE: Patrick Reincke Nathan Agius with eyes firmly on the ball during his side’s pre-season training on Thursday night. PICTURE: Patrick Reincke

By Patrick Reincke

Having won the 2014 AFL Broken Hill premiership in style last year, the South Broken Hill Football Club is looking to make it two in a row. 

With a premiership in his first year as coach, Craig Thomas wants to keep the good times rolling.

“Our pre-season has been excellent,” he said. “We’ve been working hard on our skill base, and fitness has also been a focal point.”

Last season South sported the most impressive offence and defence in the league.

The Roos scored a monumental 2,278 points over the course of their 18 minor round games, averaging 127 points a game.

Conversely, in defensive 50 South only let an average of 44 points get past them throughout the season.

Their defensive aptitude was due mostly to their dynamic defensive duo in full-back Kyle Barrie and centre half-back, Casey Paull.

The two ran a tight ship and led by example which allowed back flankers Marcus O’Brien and Riley Schorn to break out down the wing.

On the wing, you’ll find Jake Gepp and West recruit Nick Agius.

Gepp is a solid utility player with the capability to play anywhere whilst Agius’ talent will see him fit in well on the wing.

In midfield, you can’t go past the talented of South’s 2014 Best and Fairest winner Jordan Johns.

The co-captain’s silky smooth ball handling ability saw him rack up possessions time and time again last season and work his way into the best players 18 times in his 19 matches.

Other co-captain Michael Westley has had an outstanding pre-season and will lead the side well with Johns.

South’s industrious midfield doesn’t stop there with Marc Purcell, Todd Shapter and Todd Davidson looking dangerous.

Purcell and Shapter possess sharp awareness and quick hands which will also see them rotated in and out of forward pocket.

Davidson is more of the undercover agent of the side, with the hard as nails rover the in and under player always applying immense pressure and working the ball out.

Going up forward and you’ll see one of the most impressive attacking line ups to date.

Cody Schorn, Todd Blacksell and Dylan Browne have all been prominent in the forward lines in the last season.  

Schorn acts as the ‘go to’ man in offence. He slotted 63 goals last season and knows how to find the big sticks.

Blacksell led the goal-kicking last season and finished with 72.

Browne remains South’s top ruckman but also moonlights up forward with the versatile player proving very dangerous.

Mitchell Henderson, Tom Billings and Jordan Holmes will be three more big men to look out for.

South’s three new recruits will also bolster the side with Wade Gepp, Sheldon Hall and wingman Agius joining the side.

South’s 2014 B-grade Best and Fairest winner Luke Lines will now be pushing to play A-grade.

Phil Neal will have a milestone this season and play 400 league games.

In contrast, youngsters Josh Virgo, Sam Edgecumbe and Anthony Crombie will look to make their mark on the league this season.

Coach Thomas says his coaching circle of Drew Mashford, Billy Dolan, Clayton Trengove and runner Michael Purcell had done much for the side’s development.

“We’ve done the work over the summer,” he said. “We’re pretty confident we can go back-to-back.”

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