By: Joseph Arthur
#InFocus 2020 | RINGWOOD
The Ringwood Redbacks are coming off back-to-back grand final defeats in two very successful, yet heartbreaking seasons in 2018 and 2019.
Last season Ringwood finished second on the ladder and faced off against the third-placed Mitcham Tigers in the big dance.
It looked to be the Redbacks day at quarter-time, holding a 39-point lead, unfortunately for them it wasn’t to be and the Tigers stole the victory in devastating fashion with a controversial goal on the siren to win by two-points.
Senior coach Brett Rowe said the boys “didn’t need much motivation” this season and know the expectation this year is “absolutely” a grand final win.
“We’ve just got to go about our business,” Rowe said.
“The boys have a really strong focus about what’s at stake and what we’ve got in-front of us.
“I’m hoping that we do all the work and it pays off in the end.”
Refusing to be passive, the Redbacks have been active recruiters this off-season, bringing back the likes of former captain Trent Farmer and a couple of key pieces from North Ringwood.
“Trent’s (Farmer) definitely playing, he’s back and obviously he makes a huge difference to our setups,” Rowe said.
“We’ve also got Tim Jones and Curtis Dunn over from North Ringwood.
“Tim (Jones) was best on ground in North Ringwood’s last premiership and Curtis (Dunn) was part of its team of the decade during the year, as was Tim.”
Among the inclusions for Ringwood is Danny Atwell, who returns to the club after a year away playing with his brother and gives the Redbacks some more depth through the midfield.
“We’ve gained a couple of other guys as well who we think are going to add a bit more depth to our club which is really exciting,” Rowe said.
“I think we’ve improved our list considerably from last year and we think that’s going to help us when it comes to the crunch at the end of the year.”
The host of new faces will look to fill the holes left by two club greats who retired from football in the off-season.
Both Steven Burns and Luke Davis won’t be returning to the Redbacks this year with injuries calling time on the careers of the two champions.
In terms of preseason, Rowe said his men have been exemplary to date, pushing themselves extremely hard and training at a high standard.
“They were pretty keen to get going at presentation night, so therefore the numbers have been really healthy,” Rowe said.
“Obviously with who we’ve added to the list, it just adds a bit more competition for spots, so therefore guys know they’ve got to get to training and put in the work.
“Those numbers have been excellent and it’s really helped us.”
Amid the Corona Virus hysteria, Rowe said it’s on the boys to keep up their fitness as they don’t know when the season could start back up.
“It’s just important they just keep moving, staying active…and not become lazy,” Rowe said.
“I think they’ll be more than happy to just keep moving themselves.”