K rock Football

Roos bound into pre-season

Anakie will return to training on Wednesday night. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

ANAKIE will commence pre-season training on Wednesday night buoyed by almost 100 per cent recommitment from its 2021 list and a couple of handy signings.

Despite going through the GDFL season winless, the Roos have maintained every player who made a senior appearance in 2021.

Bunworth has confirmed a couple of handy signings as the club looks to head north on the ladder.

Anakie has Braydan Riddell from Loddon Valley league club Mitiamo and former Bendigo VFL and Modewarre player Mitch Hough.

“We’re pretty happy with what we’ve been able to do,” Bunworth said.

“Now we get to training and see how the new recruits fit in and see if there’s anything else that we might be able to go after.

“But, we’re looking forward to further development and improvement of our current playing list to complement our list build.”

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Riddell is a young ruckman that Bunworth will help release Darren Morrish and Jayke Kennedy into other roles.

The 21-year-old played six senior matches for Mitiamo as it went through a 12-game home-and-away season undefeated.

“He’s still got quite a bit to learn, but I think he’s a fella that’s keen to learn,” Bunworth said.

“And I think we can develop him over the next couple of years into, hopefully, a really good ruckman within the GDFL.”

Hough’s name won’t be unfamiliar to Anakie followers.

The veteran midfielder signed with the Roos ahead of the 2018 season but didn’t play a game before being cleared to Goulburn Valley League club Shepparton Swans before Round 1.

“He’s jumped on board as a bit of a wiser midfielder,” Bunworth said.

“We lost a bit of leadership in that 2019-2020 transition, and I think we might have lacked a little bit there on game day.

“So, I think he’ll fit in really well as a leader on the field. And he keeps himself quite fit, so I presume he’ll be able to play some good football, too.”

Bunworth, who will take charge of the Roos for a second year, says pre-season will focus on fitness and skill development.

“We’ll have the footys out quite a lot,” he said. “We felt like we got enough of the footy last season, and we were falling down with our skills at times, especially around the half-forward line.

“We’d get the ball out of the backline, and then our skills would let us down when we were moving forward, and then a turnover would happen.

“We’re pretty keen to really focus in on a whole range of kicking; whether it be kicking to the ‘fat’ side, or those 45 (degree) angle kicks which open up the ground a bit.

“There’ll be a bit of fitness. Hopefully, we can do the majority of our running with the footy in hand.

“The other focus will be resilience and strengthening the mental side of things to try and make sure we’re in games for longer next season.”

Twitter: @tom_king79