On February 1, senior members of the Murrumbateman Eagles Football Club gathered at the Murrumbateman Rec Grounds for their first training session as a senior team.
The Eagles, who intend to put a side in to the ACT AFL Men’s Fourth Grade competition in 2019, consist of some current players, some former players, and a few who have never played before, but four training sessions in, coach Andy Ingold is pleased with their progress.
“It’s looking pretty good, the guys are very enthusiastic,” Ingold said.
“We are getting our ball skills [prepared], that’s one thing we’re concentrating on, [because] a lot of the guys haven’t played for a few years.
“We’ve got a couple of guys that are from other codes … however their skills are looking surprisingly good as well.”
The only concern for the Eagles at this stage is whether or not they can maintain player numbers throughout the season, however Ingold said that the turnout has been positive so far.
“The numbers have been good,” he said.
“We’ve certainly got a full side there, a couple of extras won’t hurt to come in, and just to get them all at the one training session will be really good.
“I think we’ve averaged 15 or 16 per session, which is pretty good for this early in the season.”
The season will be a learning experience for the club as a whole, as this is also Ingold’s first time coaching a senior side, and he is steadily gaining confidence.
“It is strange [to be coaching instead of playing],” Ingold said.
“I am finding my way a bit, but the guys are really enthusiastic, the intensity’s there at training, which helps a lot.
“Of course, having Terry [Lemon] with me, I feel a bit more at ease with him there. I’m finding my way, and I’ll have plenty to learn this year as well.”
Lemon’s experience will be crucial for the Eagles this year, as the former Yass Roos coach has won multiple premierships and is well respected at his former club.
Ingold is currently in the process of organising a trial match against the Gungahlin Jets second grade team, which is expected to be held in March.
As the Eagles begin to settle into a pre-season routine, their junior footballers are also set to begin another round of Auskick, which has proven to be a major hit in the past at Murrumbateman.
“Your grassroots footy, that’s where it all starts," Ingold said.
“If we keep the juniors up and running, they’ll eventually filter into the seniors.”
The Murrumbateman Auskick will begin on March 7 from 5.00pm, while the seniors training takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6.30pm.