Please see story below by EFL Media Manager, Daniel Cencic which has just been released. This is part of “In Focus 2018” that the EFL are doing, running a pre-season wrap up of all clubs, enjoy! – Thanks to Mark Jonas. You can view this article on our Team App.
(Pic attached courtesy Sharon Jones)
The return of dual premiership coach Brett Moyle along with a number of key signings has put finals on the horizon for North Ringwood.
Moyle returns after last coaching the club in 2015, guiding the Saints to a Division 3 flag in 2012 followed by a Division 2 flag in 2014.
He returned to the coaches’ box last season, heading up the EFL’s senior representative side in their thrilling two-point win over the EDFL.
Moyle is pleased to be back, having missed the vibe of a footy club.
“Footy clubs are great places to be in, and if I’m honest I probably missed it a bit and everything that comes with it – it’s obviously a bit of stress and pressure but being involved in a group of young blokes trying to make themselves better and having a laugh and banter,” he said.
“I’ve loved being back and part of it.”
The Saints have added former Mitcham captain Julian Petracca, brother Robert, along with Mitch Keedle and forward Jayden Hoegel.
Also landing at Quambee Reserve is former Northern Blue Josh O’Brien, ruckman Matt Cullinan from VAFA club De la Salle and Marcus Joyner (Echuca).
Among the departures this off-season has been Charley Haley (Balwyn), Rory Harbeck and Sam Banfield (VAFA).
“They’ll add a lot to our group and they’re in that right age bracket,” Moyle said of the recruits.
The North Ringwood group recently undertook a gruelling pre-season camp at Mansfield, which Moyle believes was beneficial for his side.
“I actually did all of it and it took me a week and a half to recover from it as I’m not as fit as I used to be,” he said.
“It was a good, hard day – we walked up this monstrous hill for about an hour which was probably the hardest, along with boxing, canoeing, carrying bricks and all other stuff so it was a good combination.
“It was an enormously hard day and hard work and then a bit of a social session as part of being a local footy club and getting the balance of that stuff right. It was a really good weekend for our club for sure.”
The age dynamic of the North Ringwood list, along with the prospect of success drove Moyle back into the top-job.
“I came back because I felt there was the real prospect of genuine success and not just survival in Division 1,” he said.
“It’s hard to get excited by surviving and finishing seventh, eighth and ninth, but I feel that our core group of (Tim) Jones, (Jayden) Van Unen, (Aaron) Fenton, Jack Whelan, Curtis Dunne – those guys are in my opinion, underrated in the league as a whole.
They’re at that age group – when I finished with them they were 22-23, and now they’re 25-26. If they’re going to do something, it’ll be in the next couple of years.
“Michael Loco who I haven’t coached previously who’s in that group and came to the club in 2016, I think is in the top two or three key defenders in the comp but I don’t think is widely regarded as that.
“We’ve got a pretty good core group together and a little bit of the unknown with some of the recruits as to whether they can push us from that mid-to-lower table and into the top five.”
To say Moyle is heavily-invested in the Saints is an understatement, having taken the club on its journey from Division 3 to Division 1 in the space of three seasons during his last tenure as coach.
With the genuine prospect of finals on the horizon, Moyle is hopeful he can take the club a further step, ahead of another campaign at Quambee Reserve.
“I started coaching them when they were 17-year-old boys and we went through some hardship initially – we got flogged in a (Division 3) grand final,” he said.
“To see someone like Jayden Van Unen who was about 62 kilos wringing wet when I started with him, to be able to perform really well in a rep game, it’s awesome to be able to see that.
“I’m hopeful that we’re playing finals this year at Bayswater taking on some of the established clubs like Vermont and Balwyn, Noble Park and South Croydon.”
North Ringwood opens its season on Sunday, April 8, taking on East Ringwood in a stand-alone clash at East Ringwood Reserve.