A year on, the Tigers have their roar back

WHAT a difference a year has made for the Kyneton Football-Netball Club.

Twelve months ago on February 1, the Tigers made the tough decision to withdraw their senior team from the Bendigo Football League because of a lack of quality numbers.

And with no A grade netball side, the Tigers were a struggling club without their two flagship teams competing.

However, a year on from the dramas of early-2013, there's renewed enthusiasm at Kyneton ahead of the 2014 BFNL season.

Not only will the Tigers be re-entering their senior football team, but they are also reinstating their A grade netball side this year.

Kyneton president Rob Waters wasn't involved with the Tigers when they pulled out of the senior competition last season, but as he says: "a year is a long time in football".

"We're going along well... there has been a lot of work done by a lot of people and 2014 is shaping up well for us," Waters said on Saturday.

"I wasn't there 12 months ago, so I'm reluctant to delve back into it, but what I will say is the decision to keep Kyneton in the competition with its reserves and under-18 football sides and netball teams was an inspired one.

"If that hadn't happened, it wouldn't have been able to be salvaged.

"So those responsible for making that decision at both club and league level should be congratulated and it should never be forgotten.

"The new committee that has come together with all that we've been able to do, we're proud of it, but there's still a lot of work to be done.

"I think we're assembling a team that is capable of making finals and to be in that position from where we were a year ago is unbelievable."

The Tigers' return to senior football this year has been led by new coach Mark Adamson, who at last count had signed 20 recruits for Kyneton.

"The work Addo did last winter in his own personal time to go and meet potential recruits... it has been a hard slog, but he has continued to persist," Waters said.

"If he'd get knocked down by someone saying no, he'd just pick himself up and go again onto the next player, so all credit to Addo and Rick Egan our football director.

"They have done a fantastic job in assembling a side from scratch. It has been a very big effort."

While the Tigers could be forgiven for just being happy to be back on the park, like all clubs at this time of the year, they've got their eyes set on making the senior finals - something Kyneton hasn't achieved since 2003 under Peter Foster.

"We'd like to think that's possible," Waters said.

"Who knows what's going to happen with injury and all that sort of thing, but it's important for us to come back and put a really competitive side on the park.

"Not only for ourselves, the supporters and the town, but for the kids. It's really important the young kids see a bit of success and that will help them moving forward want to be a part of it in a few years time."

Meanwhile, the Tigers' A grade netball side will be coached by Dean Erdman.

Kyneton last fielded an A grade netball side in 2008, although, that season was marred by forfeits.

"Dean has the girls very fit and we're very confident he's going to be good for us," Waters said.

"It's great we can give all our girls something to aim for with the A grade side.

"Kyneton is a really vibrant town and it should have a family-friendly football-netball club, which is what we're working hard to achieve."

The Tigers will play their first game of the 2014 season at home against Eaglehawk on Saturday, April 5.

"The sooner we see the boys running out on the footy field and the girls on the netball court, the better," Waters said.

"It seems we've been doing a lot of talking, so we're really looking forward to the season getting under way in a couple of months."

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