EFNL Media will be previewing each club ahead of the 2020 season with the #InFocus2020 series, all thanks to Yarra Valley Water & Choose Tap.
North Ringwood president Lee Robinson believes that the Saints are primed for a big season after the disappointment of 2019.
The Saints struggled last year, winning only three games, finishing second last, and barely escaping relegation from the Premier division.
However, Robinson believes that a plethora of changes to the North Ringwood line-up will see them primed to take the 2020 year by storm.
“We obviously want to have a significantly better year than 2019,” Robinson said.
“We struggled later in the season, and without making excuses, we had a number of players out with injury, and other reasons, for a majority of the season.
“That makes it difficult to put a competitive side out, week in and week out.
“But we’ve made a few changes, and are looking at this season to be a big one for the club.”
One of those changes is a new coach at the Saints, with former North Melbourne and Richmond forward Robin Nahas taking over from outgoing coach, Paris Harvey.
“We are super excited for Robin to come in to the club,” Robinson said.
“When Paris made the decision that he was not going to keep going into 2020, we made the decision going forward that we wanted a playing coach, considering that when we won those two flags in 2012 and 2014, we had Brett Moyle, who was a playing coach.
“We thought it would be nice to get somebody fresh out of the game.”
Nahas, who is only 32 years old, comes to North Ringwood from VFL side Port Melbourne, where he was a playing coach.
“Most people would say that Robin was a key influence on Port Melbourne, especially their forward line.
“So when we had the opportunity to talk to him, he ticked all the boxes, and we couldn’t be happier.”
Robinson also singled out newly appointed skipper Aaron Fenton as one to watch for 2020, saying that the 22 year old is ready for a big year.
“He’s a young captain, but he is one of the most hungry, and determined midfielders that I’ve seen play the game.”
“He missed three or four games at the start of the season last year, but his training has been unbelievable, so I’m tipping him to have a great year.”
While the men’s seniors struggled last year, the women’s side for the Saints could not have had a better season, winning the premiership in their inaugural campaign.
However, with the team now heading up to the Premier division, Robinson said it would be a good test of their skills, but he was confident they could get the job done.
“The women’s side had such a good year in 2019, winning the flag in their first year.”
“Our girls’ will look to continue to develop in the top level of the competition. We have lost half a dozen of some pretty strong players, but we have also picked up quite a few good players too.
“Premier is definitely the next level up, from what we’ve seen, with speed and ferocity on the ball, but I think our girls have developed in such a short period of time, and I believe that they will continue to develop, and will continue to hold their own in a very strong female league.”