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Yarra Valley Water InFocus 2024 | Mooroolbark

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By Blake Tennant.

Mooroolbark went through a variety of personnel changes in 2023, seeing the club miss out on a final spot come August.


After the club made the 2022 Grand Final, the Mustangs lost several of their key stars including the dynamic Aaron Mullet and spearhead Jai Jordan.


Mooroolbark senior coach Brett Lavars returns as the club’s senior coach for season 2024.


“We would like to put season 2023 to bed and start fresh with our development and hopefully make a push for finals in 2024,” Lavars said.


Mooroolbark lost 35 players in 2023, while debuting 10 players from the Under 19’s.


The Mustangs had some clear standouts for the year in 2023, with Ryley Monkhorst, Kane Noonan and Austin Smith all having terrific seasons.


Smith took out the Division One League Best and Fairest for his great season.


Mooroolbark has retained most of their 2023 side with ‘loyalty’ the word Lavars used to describe the group.


“Very happy with the majority that has stayed, the players have seen that the footy club is heading in the right direction.”


A couple of players have put themselves up for a big 2024.


“Our leaders (Noonan, Smith) have really driven the group during pre-season and are aiming to be the best that they can be.”


Another player that will be a surprise is Josh Amiet, a frequent player in the seniors last season.


“He has worked heavily on his fitness and his body and looks to have a breakout year.”


Lavars is hoping for some better consistency this year, avoiding having a lot of glimpses of what they can do while banking on a few big win to keep their season alive.


“Our best is definitely up there, we want to push for finals and compete with the teams in the division.”


Mooroolbark opens their season campaign against Park Orchards on April 6th at Domeney Reserve.


After a successful history making season year last year which saw the Mooroolbark Senior Women’s side win the Division 4 Premiership last year, the side is carrying a lot of confidence heading into Division 3 in 2024.


Domenic Ciancio’s team put in a lot of hard work last year and it showed when they defeated Mitcham on Grand Final Day.


“Coming into season 2024, we know we are going up a division and we know it’s going to be much harder and the girls are looking forward to the challenge,” Ciancio said.


The Mustangs have also had new leadership with Rebecca Gallagher being appointed Captain, and Lily Peacock and Jordyn Doevelaar appointed vice captains for the season.


The players that have stood out for Ciancio include Jordyn Forrest and Ruby Haberfield.


“Jordyn and Ruby’s fitness have been outstanding, they have also shown leadership and have been good on feedback, should have a good season,”


“We have a few players from our junior program that have impressed me with their pre-season and are looking forward to seeing them in the side.”


Ciancio and the new assistant coach in Keryn Relph’s expects the side to be competitive every week, growing and developing as the season goes.

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