Roos buzzing for top tier season to get under way
After enduring a rollercoaster few months, Maroochydore coach Andrew Cadzow says the Roos are buzzing to finally lace up in the state’s top tier.
The Fisherman’s Rd outfit will get their chance to officially tackle the premier QAFL on Saturday, after the season was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis in March.
While it had been a “long time coming”, Cadzow said the club and playing group were simply grateful to be getting a season in.
“We’re feeling pretty fortunate we got the opportunity to even play to tell you the truth,” he said.
“There’s a lot of footy clubs around Australia, especially outside Queensland, where the leagues aren’t playing footy at all.”
After more than three months of varying restrictions, Cadzow said the Roos were itching to take on Wilston Grange at home and in front of crowds.
They won’t be alone either, with the reserves, colts and women’s outfits in action at the Maroochydore Multi Sports Complex on Saturday too.
“They’ve been waiting for a game of footy for a long time,” he said.
“We sort of went through that withdrawal phase where people didn’t think we’d be playing footy at all and all of sudden the last four or five weeks there’s been buzz for actually getting on the footy field in a new competition and challenging yourself against the best sides in the state.
“They’re all pretty excited and I reckon they’re reasonably confident.”
While hitting the field post pandemic is a massive feat in itself, lacing up this weekend will also garner plenty of extra meaning for the Roos.
Not only are they entering the top tier for the first time in more than two decades – following a brief stint in the state league in 1998-99 – but they do so in the club’s and associations’s 50th year.
Cadzow was optimistic his charges would be up for the top flight challenge come the opening bounce.
“They’re going to be very competitive and are a pretty young group,” he said.
“We’ve kept most of the group together and have a really good core of academy players who are back with us and half a dozen new payers.”
He said they’d also have the services of NEAFL-contracted players including Lochie Laing, Jackson Bury and Dan Fleming.
With restrictions easing last Friday, the Roos have only enjoyed one week of full-contact training.
They were quick to make the most of the situation, taking on Noosa Tigers the day after stage three COVID-19 rules were put into effect.
“That gave us a good leg up into full-contact training on Tuesday and Thursday and be ready to play (on Saturday),” he said.
“Although it’s not the best situation and it’s certainly had down sides, in the end we got to where we need to get.
“Fortunately enough we’re in pretty good nick.”