TEMORA captain-coach Josh McCrone is confident he can help new recruit Will McDermott take his game to the next level.
McDermott has made the move from his home club Junee to neighbouring Group Nine rivals Temora for the 2024 Group Nine season.
The 19-year-old has spent time at St George Illawarra in their junior pathway and was an integral part of Junee's return to the Group Nine first grade competition this year.
But with some family ties to the Dragons, Temora swooped and have added the talented utility to their squad for next season.
McCrone, a former NRL halfback, believes he can help bring out the best in McDermott's game.
"There's a bit of connection here. Obviously Mick (McDermott) played here and Billy Reardon goes out with his older sister. I'm not sure what opportunities he was going to get at Junee but we're more than happy to have him," McCrone said.
"When he played against us in the halves, I thought he was really good. There's some stuff that I can help him with I think, being a half. I talked to him about that.
"He'll be very handy and it's great for our depth."
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McDermott played all over the park for Junee last year, showing his versatility by starting in the halves, hooker and in the centres.
McCrone has not earmarked McDermott for any position just yet and will wait until pre-season before determining his role.
"I think hooker is probably his go but we're loaded with hookers," McCrone said.
"Like I say to anyone that comes in, he'll play wherever he fits in best. If he is the best hooker, he'll play hooker. If he's the best five-eighth, he'll play five-eighth, if he's the best halfback, he'll play there.
"We missed Hayden (Lomax) there for the last month, he missed a bit footy and if you have someone there that can jump in that you're really confident can play that hooker role for us, or wherever it is, it helps.
"Will's a competitor, I know that from playing against him, and he'll fit in well with what we're trying to do."
McDermott's arrival is the first blow Temora have struck this off-season, while also keeping their losses to a minimum.
The Dragons finished minor premiers this year but fell one win short of a grand final appearance.
McCrone expects McDermott to be the first of a couple of recruits.
"There's a few others we're talking to but nothing's concrete yet. We're confident we'll get one or two more decent players," he said.
"In a perfect world, you'd go size but (we'll take) just a couple of decent middles. We're confident we'll get one or two.
"Kris Rands is doing a fantastic job for us but he's 34, I think his days of playing 80 minutes for us are just about done. He's still got a big role to play for us.
"We're looking for another couple of middles but if we can keep everyone on the field, we're in a good space."
Temora will hold a couple of weekly training sessions through December but McCrone has learnt from previous seasons not to get going too early.
"Normally we do once a week through December, just to get everyone together so when we do get going back after Chrissy, you can rip into it," he said.
"Starting mid-April, you've still got four and a half months. I probably went a bit far out the first year I did it, I went a bit too hard, too early. It's more about moving before Christmas so when you come back after Christmas, you're right to go."
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