Mildura Weekly : Friday March 4 Vol 10 No 17
36 SPORT MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2016 By ADAM LUITJES SCHOOL has been in session at City Oval this pre-season with Imperials Football Club’s younger brigade get- ting taught a lesson by co-coaches Simon Callahan and Brad Hards. Having experienced a mass exo- dus of players following last sea- son’s eight-point grand final loss to Red Cliffs, Callahan and Hards have been working overtime to en- sure Imps’ crop of budding stars are ready to play senior football. “Pre-season has changed a little bit because we have lost some key senior players,” Callahan said. “Our focus has just been about teaching and getting the younger boys up to standard with work rate, and getting them used to the physical side and bigger bodies.” Despite failing to replace the experience lost through the depar- tures of former captain Ryan Hards, Tom Maddocks, Luke Sicker, Jacson Collins and Jordan Bates, Callahan is confident his younger players can fill the void. “Obviously we would have liked to have gotten some more senior players for experience,” he said. “I’m excited because I just don’t know what is going to happen and that’s the beauty of having young fellas. “They have heaps of enthusiasm and excitement, if you keep instill- ing confidence in them anything can happen.” Heading into his fourth season at the helm, Callahan said having a younger playing group has given him a fresh outlook. “I’m more excited this year to be coaching and seeing the devel- opment of these young fellas,” he said. “It’s sometimes harder to mo- tivate the boys that are already really good, but these young fellas are so receptive to what we say and are re- ally keen to learn.” Callahan said of the current crop of youngsters Jayden Nihill, Layne McHugh, Angus Bock, Riley Burns and Aaron Lucchesi have im- pressed the most during pre-season. Having fallen to Red Cliffs in the past two grand finals, Callahan said although it’s a motivating fac- tor, he isn’t dwelling on the disap- pointment. “It’s obviously something that burns inside of us,” he said. “I guess this year we will have a totally dif- ferent side, so we’ll use it as motiva- tion for the older blokes to try and be leaders.” Under Callahan and Hards, Im- perials has created a reputation for teamwork, discipline and elite fit- ness, and according to Callahan, it’s vital those high standards continue to be met. “I think Imperials for the last 30 years has been about keeping that level of professionalism and work rate,” he said. “That’s where it’s beautiful in the fact that this club is about bringing the juniors through. “It doesn’t matter so much if we don’t get the big recruits, we can hopefully keep this same mantra and keep working. “It has worked in the past, so we’ll keep it going.” Imperials will kick-off their 2016 campaign in an away game against Wentworth on Saturday, April 16. Imps prepare for young talent time at City Oval • LEADING THE WAY: Simon Callahan and Brad Hards will co-coach Imperials for a fourth season in 2016. CAMPBELL BROWN Entertainment featuring 2 great larrikins; Geelong legend Billy Brownless, Hawthorn premiership star Campbell Brown as well as local music sensation, Jatz Crackers. Mouth-watering cuisine from local icon Alan Lay and his Chef Catering Service; featuring high quality, local produce and great service. Complimentary beverage package; Including beer, wine and champagne from Cappa Stone Wines and Red Hill Estate and soft drink. Friday 4th March, 6.30pm BILLY BROWNLESS Purchase your table at Your support will help a local woman in Mildura suffering ovarian cancer when we present her and her family with funds raised that will assist her in the fight of her life.
Friday February 26 Vol 10 No 16
Friday March 11 Vol 10 No 18