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Yarra Valley Water InFocus 2024 | Montrose

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By Blake Tennant.


Another finals run for Gary Ayres’ men last year saw the senior men improve from their 2022 season, however they fell short of a Grand Final spot, going down in a preliminary final against the eventual premiers in Mitcham.


The Demons were one of the teams to look out for in 2023, winning their last six games to finish off the season.


The way they finished the season thrilled senior coach Gary Ayres who has re-committed to the club in 2024.


“The development with the under 19’s has been fantastic,” Ayres said.


“We debuted 15 players through our 19’s which has been huge for the club moving forward as a whole.”


Ex-Richmond star Ryan Garthwaite has also re-signed with the club in 2024 season, Ayres was impressed with the way he went about his football after an injury that kept him off the ground.


“His second half of the year, he dominated kicking 50+ last year and his professionalism was superb with the way he handled himself with the knee injury.”


A couple key recruits have come to Montrose with Patrick Huynh coming across from Warburton Millgrove.


“Really happy with his pre-season and I would like to see he’s progress for this season and wanting to challenge himself in a higher division,” Ayres said.


A player who has been a clear standout in the pre season has been Ben Dessent. The Montrose champion won the club Best and Fairest in 2022 and has been in great shape heading into the season.


“He’s training really well, he got injured in the finals but he has moved on from that, he’s leadership is definitely being massive with the group looking forward to seeing what he can do within 2024, I believe he can be up there with the competitions best.”


Ayres has strong expectation to go one better this year, and to improve as a whole team. He believes that the competition will be close, and wants to be a top two team this year, also stating that qualifying for a finals this year again would be huge for the club.


Montrose opens up their season against relegated from premier Doncaster on April 6th at Montrose Recreation Reserve.


The Montrose Senior women side will be also looking to aim for their first finals series after narrowly missing out of the finals in season 2023.


Senior Coach Shilette Baker is eager for her side to find some strong consistency across the 2024 season.


Shilette was really proud of the playing group with the way they performed in the second half of the season, the side being able to contend with the competition’s best this season.


“We want to be very competitive throughout the four quarters, balance through the players positions, and contend each game,” Baker said.


Baker knows that with four new teams coming into the division, it’s going to be a very tough and tight competition this season.


“I just want to see what we can produce this year, it could be very special season ahead,” Baker said.


Montrose open their season against East Burwood on April 20th at Montrose Recreation Reserve.

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