3 DAYS TO GO | EFL Media will be previewing each club ahead of the 2019 season with the #InFocus2019 series, all thanks to Yarra Valley Water & Choose Tap.
By: Tash Gunawardana
INCOMING North Ringwood senior coach Paris Harvie is eager to see his team learn and build from week to week.
In 2018, the Saints finished ninth in Division 1 with six wins, 11 losses and a draw.
Harvie takes over from Brett Moyle as coach after previous stints at Doncaster East and Mooroolbark and has settled back well into coaching.
“It’s exciting and I am under no illusions that every team we come up against in the Premier Division is (of) high quality,” senior coach Paris Harvie said.
“It’s exciting at the same time, because hopefully we get a solid season and hopefully get a few good wins together and build for the future – that’s our main aim, to build for the future – obviously to get some wins on the board and let’s see how we go.”
The club recruited strongly over the off-season signing former AFL players Michael Apeness (Fremantle) and Sam McLarty (Collingwood).
Apeness played 12 games for Fremantle from 2014-18. PHOTO: Paul Kane/Getty Images
The Saints have also acquired the playing services of Billy Schilling (Montrose) who has kicked over 400 goals at senior level, Adam Miles (Mooroolbark) and Gary Conyers (Heathmont).
“Michael Apeness can be a ruckman-forward key-position-player,” Harvie said.
“Billy is more of a running midfielder who can also hold down key forward positions, which he has done at Montrose before.”
The club has lost a trio of players who departed for Heathmont including Michael Peart and Cox brothers, Daniel and Jesse.
A couple of key Saints will not play this season due to injuries sustained in the off-season.
“Marcus Joyner unfortunately did his knee earlier in the pre-season, which is a bit of a bummer,” Harvie said.
“Then there’s Tim Jones who hasn’t come to pre-season, as he had an elbow operation and he’s the only other omission this year and hopefully (he can) come back next year.”
Pre-season has been solid overall for the club as it readies itself for the upcoming campaign, led by Jack Whelan as captain.
“We were happy with what the players brought in and we were happy with what we got out of pre-season,” Harvie said.
Harvie highlighted a trio of players he believes will have stand-out seasons.
“Michael Apeness who has come from Fremantle and has been at Fremantle for the last four years, so keep your eyes on him,” he said.
“We have a couple of affiliated players such as Xavier Fry and Nick Lowden (who) if they play (will be ones to watch).”
Fry, 18, has impressed playing the last two years in the NAB League with the Eastern Ranges and also represented Vic Metro.
Lowden, 19, is an exciting talent coming from the Gippsland Power where he played well for the last two years and is now listed as a Casey Demons player.
Heading into the 2019 season, Harvie wants his team to learn and improve.
“We just hope to win enough games to build (us up) for the season and to take our learnings from this year and to invest them into the following year,” he said.
“So that’s our aim just to be as competitive as we can and tackle every game with the belief that we can produce some good football and how far that takes us I don’t know.
“The main focus for us is to keep improving week in, week out.”
Harvie also emphasised how he wants the Saints supporters to come down and support the boys.
“Just to get as many supporters down to the club as we can, to support the group we have got coming through,” he said.
“There are lots of young kids involved in the list and yes to get as many supporters as we can to come down (and for us) to create a great environment for everyone who comes down to support the North Ringwood Football Club.”
The Saints will also be fielding their inaugural senior women’s team in the Deakin University Eastern Region Women’s competition this season. The team competed at last weekend’s Deakin University Lightning Premiership at Templestowe Reserve, led by Joel Stephens as coach, where the club recorded three wins from three starts.
NRFC woman’s lightening premiership.
Very proud of these young woman.