Lake Albert will welcome back a pair of premiership veterans ahead of this year’s Pascoe Cup title defence.
Brothers Ben and Cam Mavor have committed to their former club after taking a 12-month break from competitive soccer in 2018.
Cam, 25, spent last year focusing on work while Ben, 30, completed his studies and recovered from a serious knee injury sustained in 2017.
Still, it’s hard to keep good players off the paddock and watching Lake Albert’s 2-0 grand final victory over Young Lions planted the seed for a comeback season.
“I guess taking time off was just about focusing on my construction business but I’ve freed up a bit more time now and am keen to be back,” Cam said.
“It was good for me too, I got the time to heal from my injury in 2017 and finish my cert four and we’ll get back into it this year,” Ben added.
“We really got that hunger seeing the boys play in the grand final – it’s no fun watching on the sidelines and we want to be out there.”
The Mavors add a wealth of experience to the Sharks, who will be without the Gardner brothers, Nick Anderson and Jarrod Eaton next season.
“We’ve been there for years and we were both kind of thrown in the deep end as juniors,” Ben said.
“I moved into first grade as a 14-year-old and Cam would’ve been 13 or so – you have to learn pretty quick.”
Cam, a noted striker, believes the side will be well-positioned for another strong season.
“I think we’ll still go alright without those guys, it’s still a good squad and there’s a lot of experience there.”
“I’ve done a bit of footy in the off-season, just six-a-side stuff though, but we’ll get into pre-season pretty soon.”
Though the pair have had limited time on the pitch, both are looking to make a big impact in their return to the club.
Ben, in particular, will have a major role to play after taking over from Sam Gray as head coach of the Lake Albert women’s squad.
“I coached them through to finals a few years back but I’m looking forwards to doing it again – it should be good fun.”
Football Wagga is expected to release competition dates next month.