The challenges confronting the Werribee Tigers in the VFL this season are unique and wide ranging.
The Tigers will experience significant disruption during the Chirnside Park re-development that will be a win for the club in the long run.
In the meantime, the Tigers have got on with the job of preparing a team for the 2017 season.
Tigers general manager Mark Penaluna is proud of his club’s efforts in getting most of its wish-list ticked off for the season ahead.
The most crucial aspect for the Tigers was keeping the players happy.
The Tigers got creative, enlisting gyms in and around Melbourne for their players to use.
They also built a makeshift facility in the carpark adjoining Avalon Airport Oval with a gym, medical facilities and a mini-player development learning centre.
It’s not the Taj Mahal of gyms, but it certainly is a creative use of space.
Tigers football manager Mark Stone concedes there’ll be some short-term pain but that “down the track”, the gains will be massive.
“We created a temporary facility, which is made up of Atco huts, a portable toilet and containers with a gymnasium space inside,” Stone said. “It’s small but it’s efficient.
“We’ve also had different locations to train. We were training before Christmas at Werribee South, at Arden Street, regional sessions in Bacchus Marsh, North Melbourne boxing gym, Geelong Grammar and at Eagle Stadium.”
The Tigers will not play a single game at Watton Street, so they have the chance to think outside the square and take home games on the road, instead of merely giving their opponents home ground advantage.
Werribee will host games at Torquay, North Melbourne, Wangaratta, Frankston, Craigieburn, Carlton and even Etihad Stadium at the Docklands.
It will be a logistical challenge for the Tigers and will impact the bottom line, but the brand exposure will be priceless.
“It’s been a huge effort,” Penaluna said. “There’s huge costs we’ve got to wear … we’ve got to bring in external coaches boxes, side-on vision, behind-the-goal vision, stats. On the other side, we’re catering for our sponsors and coteries.
“It’s an opportunity to showcase ourselves. For us to compete in this competition, we’ve got to grow the club and the brand.”
Werribee will play its first official pre-season game, against Sandringham Zebras, at the Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday.
It will be an action-packed weekend for the Tigers, who will hold their season launch at Station Place on Sunday from 11am.