Roos set for big pre-season ahead of shift to state league
AUSTRALIAN RULES: Maroochydore coach Andrew Cadzow has warned his state-league bound players to prepare for their biggest pre-season ahead of their return to training on Tuesday.
A perennial force in Queensland’s second flight during the past decade, the Roos are determined to mix it with the top teams next year.
Cadzow expects his team to be “very competitive” but he wants to ensure that’s the case with a rigorous pre-season.
“We’re going into the unknown, so we need to work really hard,” he said.
“It will probably be our biggest pre-season ever because we’ve got no idea (what to expect).
“So, we need to get ourselves really fit and prepare ourselves the best we possibly can.”
The Roos will have 15 sessions before Christmas before ramping things up in the New Year, including three trials.
They’ve lost stalwarts Josh Norman and Nigel Baker to retirement but have retained their core group of players.
The Roos have played in the past five grand finals in the QFA Division 1, winning two flags.
“The group has played some really good footy together and they’re staying together, so the most important thing now is working really hard to prepare to play at a higher level,” Cadzow said.
“We’ve put ourselves in situations to play lots of finals series and some really big games of football, so now we need to do that every week against nine other very good sides.
“We need to very quickly learn how to play at that level.”
The Roos are also recruiting players and they have some talented youngsters coming through their ranks
“We have a very good core of juniors and colts. We’ve worked really hard on that in the last few seasons,” Cadzow said.
Full forward Mitchell Scholard, who was the leading goal scorer in the QFA Division 1 last season, was keen to get stuck into training.
“We’ve got a pretty keen young group and we’re keen to give it a crack and put in a good solid block during pre-season,” he said.
“We had a discussion during the year, knowing that if we’re going to make the step (up), we’re going to really put in that bit more during pre-season.
“And we all drive each other along so we’re pretty committed.”
The 28-year-old is eagerly anticipating their rise to the state league.
“We’re all pretty keen to move up,” he said.
“There’s a lot of excitement. No nerves, just an opportunity for us to have a crack at the top level.
“We’ve got the runs on the board (in the QFA Division 1) so the time is right and we’re all looking forward to it.”
Maroochydore played briefly in the state league in 1998-99.
It’s expected they’re in a much better position to be a long-term competitor in the top flight this time around.