Tigers welcome timely inclusions
A boosted midfield brigade will be the key to Railways’ hopes of emerging as a genuine premiership threat again this season, according to new coach Craig Frost.
The return of former captain Jarrod Whittle from a knee reconstruction to complement recruits Noah Moore, Joel Want and Ryan Hudson-Lovegrove will give the Tigers the depth to improve on their fourth place in 2016.
Moore looks set to hit the ground running, having moved from Busselton in the South West league, while Want and Hudson-Lovegrove are also expected to have an immediate impact.
They will team up with 2015 Kleemann medallist Zane Marwick and ball winners Logan Stubber, Nic Cramer and Matt Van Schayk in the middle as the Tigers look for improved ball use underFrost.
Frost takes the reins from premiership coach Wayne Stubber in a player-coach role, while premiership captain Michael Cramer has been appointed as Frost’s senior assistant.
“The mood around the club is excited, especially with these new players in that it will give us a better chance of moving up the ladder and having a good crack at it,” Frost said.
“We want to try and be a powerhouse in the league again.
“We want to be more competitive against the top two and be closer to them.”
Frost said the Tigers would pin their hopes on key forward duo Coen Marwick and Zak Hortin, with the new coach hopeful of the latter returning to his best form after an interrupted 2016.
“Hopefully he will fire this year, along with Coen who has another year in senior footy,” Frost said.
“Looking back last year we missed a bit of on-field experience with Whittle out and Kris Cramer, and with those blokes back it helps the younger guys lift a bit more.”
After the Tigers’ 2016 campaign was ravaged by injury, key defender Kris Cramer will return after missing the season with injury.
With the Tigers’ Achilles heel in recent seasons being a lack of talls and a regular recognised ruckman, the return of premiership player Riley Quilty has been a timely boost on the eve of the season.
Quilty played nine matches for the Claremont colts last season and will take on the ruck duties, according to Frost.
However, the Tigers will have to deal with the loss of young gun Beau Ewen and loyal servants utility Scott Powell and rebounding defender Michael Parker.
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