The Tigers are ready to pounce in 2013.
The Mayne Tigers have their eyes firmly fixed on finals ahead of this Allied Pickfords Cup season.
Senior coach, Mitch Ferguson, in his sixth year as coach, said the club had targeted experience in recruiting this year in a bid to take the side up a notch.
After finishing sixth last year, with a 9-7 record, Ferguson said there was a lot more focus on finessing team structures and on the players themselves than in the past.
“We just wanted harder, stronger bodies (this year). That’s what we went for and that’s what we got,” Ferguson said.
While Ferguson said the side had not set a specific goal for the season just yet, he did have an idea of the kind of football that the Tigers would be playing in 2013.
“We just want to play a contested brand of football,” Ferguson said.
“It’s very simple.”
One of the bright lights for the Tigers is the potential of young gun Henry Leong, who broke in to the seniors last year at only 15.
Ferguson said the teenager was mature beyond his years and would be an incredible addition to the side this season.
“He’s a 16 year old in a 25 year old body,” he said.
“He can keep up with the play with the way his makeup is. He’s a hell of a kid.”
Aside from Leung, Ferguson said there were a number of young players who were thereabouts in the pre-season and could potentially step up this season.
“They’re a year older and more motivated to do well going forward,” he said.
“After we’ve played a few games, we’ll see the guys that have stepped up.”
Ferguson is hoping that captain, Caleb Brown, can return to his best this season after a series of niggles restricted him to only 11 games in 2012.
“If Caleb stays injury-free, we’re set for a big year because he will be playing well,” he said.
The Tigers have also brought Shaun Daly to the club as a playing assistant coach.
Daly was the 2011 Ovens and Murray League Medallist and will bring some much-needed September experience to Mayne, as they look to match it with the best teams in the league.
Mayne will get a tough test first up, opening their 2013 account against defending premiers Western Magpies on April 20.
For full fixture, click here.
Mayne 2013 Ins