Lake Albert will look to shore up their attacking future with a blast from the past in 2019.
The Sharks went through last season undefeated, including a thrilling 2-0 win over Young Lions in the Pascoe Cup decider, but they won’t have the same wealth of talent to draw upon this year.
Coach Mitch Tinnock is resigned to losing co-captain Fred Gardner and his brother Henri to Wagga City Wanderers while semi final hero Nick Anderson and midfield rock Jarrod Eaton have also departed the club through RAAF duties.
However, Tinnock is hopeful of calling upon the services of premiership-winning brothers Cameron and Ben Mavor for Lake Albert’s title defence.
“Obviously Fred and Henri will be big losses for us and it’s no secret they’ve scored the bulk of our goals for the past few years, so we’ll need to do a bit of restructuring in attack,” Tinnock said.
“I’ve been chatting with Cam a bit – he was around in 2016 and he’s keen to come back in, which is great because he’s a really tricky attacking player.
“I think he can be the kind of player to lead our attack next year, especially since Ando’s gone as well, but we’ve still got plenty of talent in the squad.
“Ben Matthews can definitely slide into one of those starting roles … and there’s a few young guys who could get a run too.
“Then we’ve also got Benny Mavor who’s had a bad run with injury – he missed last year after injuring his knee in 2017 – but I think he’d be keen to come back in a defensive midfield role and give it a crack.”
Tinnock said the bulk of his 2018 squad would be retained with veteran trio Jamie Rankin, Duncan Brodie and Ben Angel headlining a strong side.
“All the boys are sticking around which is great and I think everyone’s keen to get back into it.
“Pre-season starts on Jan 22 and we’re looking at maybe playing a gala down in Albury – there’s also some interest from Yoogali over at the Griffith comp.”