Sunbury United Tigers have a tough ask ahead of them if they are to make the NRL Vic first grade finals this year.
The Tigers sit sixth, three points outside the top four at the mid-point of the season.
Tigers president Tony Gould said they knew it was going to be a much tougher ask this season, after playing in the grand final last year.
“The senior side is a different team make-up this year,” he said. “We’ve got a few in the army who are overseas and some who have moved interstate.
“We have a number of new players. We knew it would be a lot harder this season.”
Gould said they would have to win five out of their last seven games if they were to play finals.
He said pre-season they hadn’t focused on finishing in the top four, more about building the side together.
All sides had the bye on the weekend, which had come at a good time for the club to allow everyone to recharge their batteries.
He said a drop off in numbers in their reserves had also hurt them and had been a bit unexpected. That side is currently last on the ladder.
He said they were hoping some of their under-18s would step up and help them out for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, the Tigers junior program continues to thrive.
Their under-18s just won a premiership, while their under-17 team is about to start their season.
The club has long had success with junior sides making grand finals
This year they have 16 juniors in the Melbourne Storm Thunderbolts program, in a massive boost for the club.
Gould said he thought that was the most players selected from the club in one year to be part of the program.
“The skill level is high especially in the older age groups. Our under-14s are going exceptionally well, they are coached by a former first grade coach.”
Next week, Melbourne Storm player Justin Olam will visit the club, as part of Storm at your club.