The 2015 season looms as a massive opportunity for the Queanbeyan Tigers to sink their claws in to the AFL Canberra competition.
The new-look Tigers are bristling with rising stars looking to make an impact, and are preparing to mount a serious assault on the title.
A young side always needs an old hand to guide it through, and that’s exactly what the Tigers are hoping returning club legend Mark Armstrong will do.
Armstrong brings a wealth of experience to a list jam-packed with youngsters, leaving Coach Kade Klemke salivating at the prospect of having his troops raring to go ahead of Round One.
“We’re very close to a full [strength] side. Justin Galloway is still probably a month away. And one of our new recruits, [Todd] Reinberger, he is probably only a week away. So apart from that, we have our full side, and the boys are ready to go.”
It is an ominous warning to the rest of the competition. The Tigers are ready to go, firing off the back of their Pre-Season Cup Grand Final appearance.
But if you think the Tigers will be complacent coming in to the season opener against Ainslie at Allinsure Park, think again.
“It was great to make the final [of the pre-season tournament], we’re not taking a whole lot out of that. Our aim is to finish top two at the end of the year,” Klemke said.
“We’ll start with the first five games and see where the rest of the competition is at, and we’ll get a good indication of that in the first few games. We’ve got some good tough challenges coming up.”
Tough challenges that Klemke believes will be met by his young chargers.
“Jono Bowyer, who played in the Under 18s Grand Final last year, he’s really stood up. Not just as a player, but as a leader.”
Klemke cited another graduate from the club’s Premiership winning Under 18s team last year, Matthew Grocott, as one to watch.
“I think he’ll be a bit of an unknown to a lot of the clubs. He played a few NEAFL games last year. I think he has even improved more from last year. [He’s] got a bit bigger and he’s another young guy that I think will improve again this year.”
The club’s playing stocks have been further bolstered by the additions of the Price brothers, a host of ex-Rising Stars, and Eastlake’s Tim Clowrey, who is arguably the club’s most exciting recruit for 2015.
A First Grade Grand Final rematch awaits the black and gold in Round One as they look to pounce on the Tricolours.
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR AFL CANBERRA: http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?client=1-1051-0-247306-0&sID=283705&&news_task=DETAIL&articleID=34450444