Star recruits set to join Magpies in round one clash against South Bendigo

Maryborough Football Netball Clubʼs 2019 Bendigo Football Netball League campaign kicks off in round one this weekend. Maryboroughʼs senior football side and its new recruits have had plenty of practice over the off season, pictured warming up for a practice match with Harcourt last month.

A star-studded line up, a solid preseason and a positive attitude is what Maryborough Football Netball Club’s senior football team hopes will get them over the line this year.

After back-to-back one-win seasons, the Pies head into the 2019 Bendigo Football Netball League (BFNL) season with a lot to prove.

Maryborough has lost four of its strongest players from 2018 in Miles Miranda, Jack Hayward, Will Sultana and Ethan Grech but have some impressive recruits to fill the gaps.

Former AFL star Stewart Crameri, former VFL players Ash Humphrey and Lachlan Butler and the Maryborough District Football Netball League’s (MCDFNL) reigning Berry Powell medalist, Matt Bilton, are just a few names on Maryborough’s list.

Bilton is a two-time district league medalist and heads into this season off the back of 2018 premiership success with Carisbrook.

Taking the reins for his second year, Maryborough senior coach Ben Lavars said Bilton is a great addition to the side.

The Magpies’ preseason has been in full swing for quite some time now, this partnered with a successful recent practice match against Harcourt has Lavars confident that the side is “in better shape than this time last year”.

“The practice match went really well, it’s sort of hard to gauge Harcourt as they’re in the MCDFNL, but I think they’ll be really improved,” Lavars said.

Lavars said he expects all recruits to be on the Queen Elizabeth Oval track this coming Saturday for round one against South Bendigo and while the side looks “pretty strong” he admits it is hard to determine what this weekend’s result will be.

“South have lost a fair few, but picked up a fair few quality players so we’re not too sure. You just don’t know until you get out there,” he said.

For more on this story see Page 38 of The Advertiser, Friday, April 12

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