Diggers Rest isn’t planning on a premiership hangover in the Riddell District Football League this year.
After claiming their second premiership in three years, the Burras are keen to make sure they are contenders again this season.
Burras coach Jamie Lobb said they were determined to not let standards slip.
“The guys are more keen than they were this time last year,” he said.
“We’re already spoken about how hard grand finals are to win, and that it is even harder to go back-to-back.
“The boys have come back really well.”
As in previous years, the Burras have had a shorter pre-season than many other sides. Lobb said it was about making sure everyone was switched on from the start.
He said most of the group had spent a lot of time together in the off season anyway.
In a big boost for the club, the Burras have managed to keep most of their premiership side.
Skipper Tom Gleeson has headed overseas, and Mathew Medcraft is on the move after one season. Stephen Ruane and Luke Smailes have retired along with Brent Tuckey, who didn’t play in the grand final.
Lobb said one of the key areas for the club had been its depth in recent years and those player losses would give other players a chance.
Like the senior side, the reserves have also won two premierships in three years.
“We could have chosen 34-35 players last season to do the job and not be depleted,” Lobb said.
“We had good numbers on the track with 46 for the first session back and there wasn’t a lot of under-18s in that.”
The Burras last week put in clearances for the first of its recruits, Luke and Todd Delahey.
Luke is a two-time premiership player with Darley in the Ballarat Football League. He also spent time on Geelong’s VFL list in 2016-17.
Todd has also been playing in the BFL, but with Bacchus Marsh. Todd played mostly in the reserves, including last year’s premiership.
Lobb said they had spoken about getting the brothers across last year.
“Luke wanted one more crack with Darley,” Lobb sad.
“We managed to get them both across as they want to play together. I don’t think they’ve played together before.
“With the Darley and Bacchus Marsh rivalry, it wasn’t going to happen at those two clubs.”
Lobb said Luke, who had been right up there in the training sessions, will likely fill the void left by Gleeson.
Lobb said they were still talking to some possible recruits. He said they had room for about two more players if they found the right fit.
“We’re speaking to a couple of players now,” he said.
“We’ve got a good spine and a core group of players. We’re looking for the best available player. We have a strict criteria.”
The Burras start their season on April 6 against Rupertswood.