Diesels on hunt for late signings

Matt Hands is hoping the Diesels can secure some new signings as the Group Nine season approaches.
Matt Hands is hoping the Diesels can secure some new signings as the Group Nine season approaches.

Junee captain-coach Matt Hands is hoping some 12th hour additions will add to the club’s depth this season.

The Diesels are sweating on a number of late signings after a large play turnover during the off-season.

“We aren’t going to be a massive side, but we are still hopeful of over the next week picking up one or two boys,” Hands said.

“That should be sorted by this weekend potentially.”

Despite missing a number of key personnel, Hands was pleased with the Diesels’ 20-14 win over Berry in a trial on Saturday.

“It was a good hit out with no injuries,” Hands said.

“We weren’t at full strength, but neither were they so it was just the trial that we needed.”

Hands was one of the absentees and looks set to miss the first few games of the season.

The Diesels start their campaign against Cootamundra on April 2, but will be without their leader as he makes his way back from a pectoral muscle injury that ended his finals campaign.

“I will be right for around round three with the way it is looking at the moment,” Hands said. “It was just the slow first couple of weeks with the rehab when I went away, it’s put me back but it is coming along well.

“There is no point jumping the gun with it.

“I don’t want to do it again so I have the beauty of time.”

It has been a quiet off-season on the recruitment front for the Diesels, but they picked have up a number of old faces returning to the sport.

Tom Diggins is back from Cootamundra while former Southcity junior Mitch Sutton is also making a return to the game with the Diesels.

Chris Lewis has also returned to the club after playing soccer while Ben Marks, who moved to town to work with the railway, showed some promise in the trial against Berry.

“We’ve picked up half a dozen boys who didn’t play last year,” Hands said. “There is enough there to work with.

“I am happy with where we are at.

“We have lost a fair bit of quality but have picked up a fair few fellas who are going to work pretty hard.”

One thing Hands is worried about is a lack of depth.

The loss of Peter Little, Will Merritt, Patrick Sagigi, Clifford Morris and Connor McCauley has left a hole and the Diesels leader admits they can’t afford too many injuries this season.

“We don’t have quite the depth we’ve had the last couple of years,” Hands said.