Melton Centrals are upping the fun factor as they prepare for the Riddell District Football League season.

With just two wins last year, both against Rockbank, which didn’t win a game, it was a tough year for Centrals on field.

But with a new coach on board and a club legend returning to the coaching panel, Centrals’ off season has been positive.

Coach Mathew Sproule said the club was attacking pre-season with a lot of intensity.

“Training has been pretty good and we’ve got former coach Brian Wheelahan back as an assistant coach,” he said.

“We’ve looked to get a bit of fun back into training and make it a positive environment.”

Sproule said a focus was being put on fitness in a bid to help the players run out games better and the club was looking to bring in some experience to help provide support for the young playing group.

“We’ve added some players, but we’re still to finalise our squad,” he said. “There’ll be about eight different players from round one last year.

“We haven’t lost many players and we’ve picked up six to eight players who have played in similar or better competitions.”

Centrals have lodged clearances for Peter Akech, Blake Henderson, Linton Hogan, Trent Kreeck, Adam Leggett, Adam McIntyre, Simon Pocervina, Joel Rattya, Mark Russeell, John Simson, Joshua Spry and Ben Stonehouse.

Sproule said the aim was to be more competitive than had been the case in the past couple of years.

He said there had been some positive signs in the first practice match, with two more planned.

“We are a chance to win a few more games with a few more experienced guys in the side,” Sproule said.

“We still had eight to nine guys who were under-19 in the practice match and it’s a good experience for them.

“We will still try to promote the kids. There’s still room for improvement – we have to keep improving until we are at a level we are content with.

“It’s a work in progress, not just a one-year journey.“

Centrals will start their season off with a bang by facing local rival Rockbank under lights on Saturday, April 8.