PREPARATION lacked in Western Division’s winless 2013 Country Championship campaign.
Striving for success, preparation will be the catalyst in 2014.
Western Division coach Dennis Moran has named a 45-man Rams train-on squad, identified with the sole purpose of creating a winning culture within the region.
A far cry from last year’s limited time on the training paddock, this year’s squad will gather at the Manildra Sportsground later this month for the Rams’ first training session a full two months before the green and whites tackle the Greater Northern Tigers in round one of the new-look championship.
“We only had three training sessions last year,” Moran said.
“Being in tier one, we were up against teams like the Central Coast, Newcastle and Illawarra, places that travel 45 minutes to training. Our boys are going two, two-and-a-half hours.
“We sat down together at the end of last year and thought getting a squad together and training a bit earlier would be better.
“It’s up to the players whether they accept the invitation or not, but it’s a commitment Western Division is looking for.”
“We’ve got good young talent as well, and it’s important to shine the spotlight on them and let them know we’re thinking about them as Western Division players"
Following last year’s all-Orange Group 10 grand final, both Hawks and CYMS are well represented in the large squad.
Todd Barrow, Tim Mortimer, Garrett Crossman and Alofi Mataele are in the squad for Hawks while CYMS’ Tim Bassmann, Dom Maley, Ben McAlpine and Dan Stuart are also named.
Moran lauded the depth in the region as Western’s biggest strength.
“We’ve got good young talent as well, and it’s important to shine the spotlight on them and let them know we’re thinking about them as Western Division players,” he said, adding incumbency will be taken into account for last year’s Rams.
“Those boys put in the hard yards last year and they’ve been included in the squad again. They’ve already had the taste of what’s required so we’d love them to be part of it again.”
The Western Division side will be selected following the Group 11 and Group 10 clash at Dubbo’s Apex Oval on May 10.
Further training sessions will be advised following that clash before the Rams’ first championship game, an elimination fixture, against the Greater Northern Tigers in Singleton on May 31.
Pending the result of the Singleton clash, the semi-finals and final will be held in June.
The Western Rams senior squad will assemble at the Manildra Sportsground on Saturday, March 29, from 10am.
WESTERN RAMS TRAIN ON SQUAD: Blake Fitzpatrick (Oberon), Wade Judd (Oberon), Todd Barrow (Orange Hawks), Tim Mortimer (Orange Hawks), Tim Holman (Cowra Magpies), Tim Bassman (Orange CYMS), Illisoni Vonemateiratu (Dubbo CYMS), Ryan Marlin (Dubbo CYMS), Ronny Lawrence (Cowra Magpies), Richie Peckham (Wellington), Norm West (Wellington), Luke Carpenter (Bathurst Panthers), Jye Chapman (Dubbo CYMS), Justin Toomey-White (Wellington), Josh Rainbow (Blayney Bears), Joseph Coe (Parkes), Jordon Pope (Parkes), John Gray (Dubbo Macquarie), Jamie Sceizerbanik (Parkes), Jade Hooper (Dubbo CYMS), Jackson Brien (Oberon), Jack Afamasaga (Mudgee), Itoni Tino (Parkes), Hayden Robinson (Parkes), Garrett Crossman (Orange Hawks), Dylan Hill (Dubbo Macquarie), Dom Maley (Orange CYMS), Dennis Moran (Parkes), David Masoe (Parkes), Cody Robbins (Bathurst Panthers), Chris Thompson (Dubbo CYMS), Chris Rhodes (Lithgow Workies), Chris Daley (Macquarie), Brent Seagar (Bathurst Panthers), Brendan Tago (Parkes), Bobby Gordon (Dubbo CYMS), Blake Tremain-Cannon (Dubbo CYMS), Blake Seagar (Bathurst Panthers), Blake Dean (Bathurst Panthers), Ben McAlpine (Orange CYMS), Alofi Mataele (Orange Hawks), Aidan Ryan (Wellington), Adam Sambrook (Narromine), Dan Stuart (Orange CYMS), Luke Single (Bathurst St Pat’s).