Cats and Tigers to reveal what they've got

SOME of the biggest recruits to filter into the Warrnambool and District league will be on show when Allansford hosts Merrivale in round one action.

Fine tuning: Merrivale defender Jack Gleeson (foreground) trains with the Tigers this week.

Fine tuning: Merrivale defender Jack Gleeson (foreground) trains with the Tigers this week.

The Cats and Tigers will kick off their season at Allansford Recreation Reserve on Sunday in what is the pick of the matches to open an intriguing season.

Allansford coach Josh Parkinson has named six new faces, including gun former Dennington goalkicker Justin Nowell at full-forward.

The returned Joel Cornelissen, Brad Williams, Ben Lenehan, Adam Ryan and Rory Neeson have also earned senior berths first-up.

Merrivale is likewise a new-look side under first-year coach Karl Dwyer. Rhys Raymond, Matthew Peake, Jet Dowie are also additions to the side.

Dennington, the other big recruiter during the off-season, has handed first games to four new players while Ben Parkinson takes the reins for the first time.

Tully Allwood, Jackson Chatfield, Rainey Lebler and Ryan McElgunn will line up for the Dogs against East Warrnambool at Dennington Recreation Reserve.

East has included five new and returned faces, including one — Shaun Brown — from the under 17½ ranks.

Ben Gray and Thomas Hopkins will play after having time away from the club last season while Jackson Fary and Jonah Hughson have joined the Bombers.

Kolora-Noorat has turned to its reserves and junior ranks to fill the void left by a host of departures for its match against South Rovers at Noorat.

Matt Monaghan, Sam Hasell, Scott Judd and Thomas Lenehan are the recruits and former grand final player Brad Hillman has returned to the club.

South Rovers will have six new and returned players, including onballer Jaymen Fletcher who arrives from Robe with big raps.

Kyeran Ellery, Andy O’Keeffe, Zach Westwick, James McElgunn and Daniel Clifford will also pull on the jumper for the first time.

Young forward Nathan Krepp is the other big inclusion, returning to his home club after helping Dennington reach the grand final last season.

Coach Aidan Cole will play his first match for Nirranda, along with Nick Walsh, Michael Boyd, Adam Atkinson and the Smith brothers, Aaron and Brad.

Ruckman Tim Abraham is another welcome inclusion after missing most of last season through injury and will provide much-needed size at stoppages.

Opponents Old Collegians are also much changed under new coach Daryl Beechey. The Warriors went winless last season but have as many as 10 new players.

The match is at Cobden Recreation Reserve, a fitting decision given both coaches have spent the bulk of their careers with the Hampden league Bombers.

New and comparatively older recruits dominate the Deakin University side for its clash against Russells Creek at D. C. Farran Oval, Mortlake.

Matt Lenehan and Steve Byron have crossed from Tyrendarra while centre half-forward Yarran Curtis is the pick of the student influx at the Sharks. Ruckman Mitch Hodgson, Tim Edgcumbe, Courtneay Hobbs, James Crawford, Brenton Faltum and Michael Smith make up the nine recruits who will play.

Full-forward Damian Osborne has returned to Russells Creek while coach Jay Everall, Brad Everall, Troy McCormack and Ben O’Rourke are among other new players.

And the post-Chris Bant era will begin with reigning premier Panmure taking on Timboon Demons at Panmure.

The Bulldogs, who will unveil their premiership flag, have named Tom White and Brady Purcell in the side while also drawing on reserves from last season.

Ruckman Marcus Hickey, a former WDFNL team of the year member, is the biggest recruit for a familiar-looking Timboon Demons side.


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