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Yarra Valley Water InFocus 2024 | Croydon North MLOC

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By Christopher Kourtis

After a vastly joyless 2023, Croydon North MLOC is back and ready to make its mark on the 2024 season. 


Croydon North MLOC could only manage one win in the 2023 Fourth Division Senior men’s competition, finishing last. 


Senior Men’s coach Ben Oakes will return for another season at the club.


Despite an underwhelming season that was filled with injuries, he is confident that the club can take some serious steps forward in the upcoming season.


“We really underachieved – we know that,” said Oakes.


“I think we played 45 players throughout our seniors.”


The Kanga Rams have certainly strengthened in the off-season, recruiting 15 new players. 


“Bringing in new talent sort of snowballs with creating an environment where the guys that you’ve already got want to play.


“That new sort of group coming through has been really good,”


“When we were recruiting, we made sure that we targeted our weakness, which was probably getting bullied around and beat up. To get big-bodied mids is awesome.”


Oakes has put great emphasis on improving his squad’s fitness throughout this pre-season, which he believes will lay a strong foundation for the Kanga Rams’ campaign. 


“If we can get a group of fit, healthy players around guys like Jacob Crowe… we believe we can really be competitive with anyone. 


“We can stay in a game, hopefully, for four quarters now.”


After successful outings in pre-season, Oakes and his team now have their sights set on their first game of the season, where they host Nunawading in Round 2. 


“We are excited to play that game, regardless of who it is.


“If you’re following Croydon North Football Club, you should be excited about where the team and the club is going in 2024.”


Similarly to their male counterparts, wins were few and far between in Division Two for the Croydon North Senior Women’s team. 


Finishing with a 2-12 record, the efforts of Brittany Grech (leading goal kicker) and Yalleen Flahive (Best and Fairest) were not enough for the Kanga Rams to avoid relegation.


Croydon North MLOC are confident they can still perform though, only recruiting five new players for the upcoming season. They will look to improve internally, with Flahive re-signing and leading the team into the upcoming season. 


Their return to Division 3 is marked by a season opener against Mitcham, who were promoted from Fourth Division Seniors in 2023.

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