Diggers set for action

Jamie Lobb. Picture Luke Hemer

Tara Murray

Diggers Rest footballers are raring to go, ahead of the Riddell District Football League season kicking off on April 17.

After a season of no footy due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Burras, like all other teams, have been busy putting in the work behind the scenes.

Burras coach Jamie Lobb said the club’s pre-season had been one of the strongest they’ve had in recent years.

“We’ve got double the numbers we would normally have on the track at this time of year,” he said.

“We’ve had 50 to 55 on the track each night, we would normally get about 30. All the guys have enjoyed being able to see each other.”

Lobb said they kept their training program the same as they normally would, with it ramping up after the Christmas break.

The Burras, who made the preliminary final in 2019, will have a similar list to the one they had put together for last year’s cancelled season.

“I’m pretty happy with it,” Lobb said.

“Most of the players from last year are back and the couple of guys we recruited last season are returning.

“[Bowen Medallist] Jaidyn Caruana was the big-name signing for us last season. We’ve added a couple of young kids from Melton.

“We’ll have two or three guys up on what we had in 2019.”

David Morrice and Corey Wright have both moved to other clubs, while Alec Del Papa has retired.

Lobb said they were unsure whether Lachie Langford would be in Melbourne and whether he would play.

Lobb said it would be business as usual for the club, which is always among the premiership mix.

“We’re setting standards high for ourselves and not selling ourselves short,” he said.

“We have a lot of volunteers and people putting in the hard work to get to the big day.

“There’s no lay down for us.”

With reigning premiers Rupertswood having moved competitions last year, the premiership race will be slightly different this year.

Lobb said with the finals only being top five this season instead of six, you won’t notice having one less team as much.

The Burras face Woodend-Hesket in round one on April 17.

They then face Macedon the following week on Anzac Day. Traditionally, the Cats faced Rupertswood on Anzac Day.

Lobb said that it would be a pretty special day. The club has had a long tradition of heading to the Sunbury RSL dawn service.

He said he hoped that they could now make a tradition with the Cats to play on April 25 every year.

“It’s something we’re looking forward to,” he said.

“We jumped on the front foot pretty quickly [to fill the vacant spot]. I’ve gone to the game the last three to four years and it’s always a good day.”