MARYBOROUGH under-18 coach Brady Neill says there's an enormous buzz among the Magpies' playing group as it prepares to relaunch the team this year.
Due to a lack of numbers the Magpies haven't participated in the Bendigo Football-Netball League's under-18 competition for six years.
However, the club has confirmed it will finally return to the under-18 field this year for the first time since 2016 with Neill at the helm as coach.
"There has been a lot of work over the past couple of weeks registering players and getting our list together," Neill said on Thursday.
"We had 20 players at training on Monday night and the buzz was enormous and it was just a really positive vibe... it's something I haven't felt at the club for a while and the amount of people who are getting involved is fantastic.
"We've got sponsors wanting to get on board and the club is backing the team in by giving the kids some apparel so they can look the part and make them feel really welcome. It has created a fair bit of buzz around the community."
The majority of the 17 registered players with the Magpies have come via Maryborough's under-16 team last year.
"We've also been able to attract a few 17 and 18-year-olds from the district who have previously played at Maryborough, but have left," Neill said.
"So it's great to have those players come back to the club and we've got some new families jumping on board as well, which is fantastic.
"For us in this first season back in the competition it's about trying to find that gradual improvement throughout the year. As long as we're improving and enjoying our football then the wins will happen in due course.
As long as we're improving and enjoying our football then the wins will happen in due course- Brady Neill
"We're going out there to be as competitive as we can and we'll just take each week as it comes and not look too far ahead.
"It's looking really good for not just this year, but next year as well with about 12 of the kids being bottom-age, so they will stay on and we continue to progress."
As well as his role coaching the under-18s, Neill is also part of the leadership group for the Magpies' senior side, which will be coached by Rick Andrews - a 1999 Maryborough premiership player.
"Rick has been absolutely fantastic; his mindset and philosophy on not just his coaching, but the way he goes about his life is super positive," Neill said.
"He is fully invested in the under-18s as well, which is great. He has done a lot of training with the under-18s."
The Magpies are headed to Dower Park to take on Kangaroo Flat in round one on Saturday, April 9.
Anyone interested in playing with the Magpies' under-18s can contact Neill on 0437 042 611.
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