After eight whirlwind weeks, things are settling down at Roxburgh Park, with the focus firmly on the field.
The Magpies had a more stressful pre-season than expected after Paul Derrick stood down as coach in mid-February, six weeks out from the Essendon District Football League division 2 season.
The club quickly appointed Travis McCarty, but also had to deal with the late departure of key players.
Entering the Easter break, the Magpies were 1-1, with a close loss in round one and strong win in round two.
McCarty said the start to the season was always going to be a challenge.
“It’s probably going to take our club four to six weeks to gel, especially in the seniors,” he said. “We’ve got a new coach and new game style. I’ve already seen glimpses of what we can do, and hope that we can play our best possible football as early as we can.”
As well as a new coach, several new players have joined the side. McCarty said he believed they’d lost about five players from last year’s grand final team, but were able to replace them.
“We’ve been able to bring in a good six or seven players,” he said. “Three or four of them haven’t been available this year. We’re hoping to have them available the next couple of games.
“The players we’ve brought in will be in the club’s top players. We’re also giving opportunities to players who didn’t get a chance last season. We’ve got 35 to 40 guys who can play seniors. We’ve got depth right through.”
Among the signings for the Magpies is playing assistant coach Hayden Farrelly, who came across from Hurstbridge, Jack Elliott, Sean Potter, Anthony Carrio and renowned goalkicker John Baker.
There is also clearance for Lachlan Clement.
The Magpies’ next game is April 22 against East Sunbury.
It will be a special occasion, with the club marking Anzac Day at the clash. Games will start at 11.45am, with the seniors to play a twilight match, starting at 5pm.
The Last Post will be played and the national anthem sung before the start of the seniors’ match.
McCarty said the day was important for the club as it looked to honour past and present armed servicemen and women.
“To host a day like this is important. We’ll be able to showcase our ground and facilities, and pay tribute to the Anzacs.
“It’ll be one of the biggest days of the year for the club.”