THE Bendigo Fighting Miners are raring to go as they kick off their Victorian Rugby Union season tomorrow.
The Miners will hit the road to face Monash in their opening fixture of the season as they aim to make a return to finals after a fifth-placed finish last season.
Between injury and unavailability things didn’t quite go their way last year, but president Greg Spedding is hopeful of a resurgent 2018.
“We’re definitely setting our sights on finals,” he said.
The Miners have floated between various competitions in previous seasons, winning a premiership in 2015 before not winning a game following promotion in the 2016 season and then finishing fifth in a return to competitiveness last year.
This year they take part in a new championship division for standalone clubs.
“It’s all set up and designed for single-team clubs, it’s something they’ve had in the works for a little while, in part to give the clubs the chance of making finals,” he said.
“There’s still eight teams but four teams are in finals, which hopefully helps us with sponsorship to make it easier for people to play.”
The club has a new coach this year in Dave McDonald, who joined the club in 2017 and takes over from Matt Boyle.
The number nine led the side in points last year and was also named the club’s most consistent player.
He’ll be joined by captain Logan Reynolds and a returning contingent from the 2017 side.
Spedding said the club has faith the duo can lead the Miners back to the postseason.
“I think we’ll be pretty competitive with these teams this season. It should be a good standard of games and hopefully we can kick it off with a win on Saturday,” he said.
And like many community clubs, the Miners are always looking for new players and sponsors.
“We have Keech Australia on board again as sponsor which is terrific, and some support from the Foundry Hotel, but we can’t make it happen without people like that and having players interested in coming along,” he said.
The club is also hopeful of fielding a women’s team in coming seasons.
Anyone interested in playing or supporting the club can contact Spedding on 0487 144 710.