WITH just four weeks to go before the TAC Cup begins, Bendigo Pioneers coach David Newett believes his team is in good shape.
Newett said it had been a long pre-season, but players and coaches were excited for the season to get underway.
“Every coach in Australia would be optimistic about their team’s chances at this time of the year,” he said.
“But I think we have the top age players and some exciting 17-year-olds to really do well this season."
The Pioneers have played several pre-season practice matches already, including two games at the weekend against the Dandenong Stingrays.
“The first game most of the bottom-aged players played and we were pretty pleased with how they are progressing,” Newett said.
“They are all learning and have really adopted the plans; they are playing some good football.
"Liam Collins and Clayton Oliver played really well."
Newett said in the second game, most of the top-aged players got their chance to take to the field.
“We had about nine players who doubled up and played in both games due to injuries,” he said.
“Because of that we got a bit tired in the backend of the game.”
Newett said he took a lot of positives out of both games.
“All of the players have worked really hard in the pre-season and these games are a reward for their efforts,” he said.
The under-16 Pioneers will play a game against the Ballarat Rebels at 10am on Sunday. While two under-18 games will also be played at noon and at 2pm.
All games will be played at the Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve.