Blues tackle Magpies at Moama

March 1, 2024 BY

Inbound: Jack Hickman played in Golden Square's 2023 Bendigo league grand final win and now looks se to join Mount Pleasant this season. Photo: FILE

THE Heathcote District FNL’s senior footy champions of 2023, Mount Pleasant, ramp up preparations for a new season this Saturday.

Mounts will play in Moama from 1pm.

The Blues take on the Magpies who were beaten in last season’s Murray FNL preliminary final.

It’s a new look for Mounts as coach Cam Carter takes charge again after the departure of premiership winning coaches Adam Baird and Ben Weightman.

Leading a team in pursuit of back-to-back premierships is not new ground for Carter as he did so with Mounts in 2005 and 2006.

“We will play a six-term match this Saturday,” Carter said of Mount Pleasant’s hit-out at Moama.

“Several players are unavailable because of cricket and other commitments, so it’s a chance to give some younger players and others a greater opportunity to play.”

For both clubs it’s more about how they play than the result.

The Blues’ squad for 2024 has premiership players such as captain and gun ruckman Chris Down, Mitch Rovers, Caelan Smith, Daniel and Michael Whiting, Bailey and Fletcher White, and Bryce Hinneberg.

Mounts has also had Golden Square premiership player Jack Hickman lodge papers for a clearance to the Blues.

Week two of the pre-season campaign for Mount Pleasant includes the clash with reigning Maryborough Castlemaine DFNL premier, Harcourt at Toolleen.

Two matches are planned for the 16 March showdown between the Blues and Lions.

Heathcote’s teams will be on the road to play Riddell District FNL club Lancefield.

It’s a clash of the Saints and Tigers on Sunday.

The Andrew Saladino-coached Heathcote has bolstered its squad significantly since last season’s grand final loss to Mount Pleasant.

Newcomers for the Saints include ruckman James Orr, key defender Daniel Johnstone, forward Cooper Webber-Mirkin.

They join a squad led brilliantly by Codie Price, Braden Padmore, Corey Grindlay, and last season’s Cheatley medallist as league fairest and best in on-baller Liam Jacques.

The Saints face Nullawil on March 16 at Pigeon Park in Heathcote’s Barrack Reserve.

Another hit-out for Heathcote will be against Cohuna Kangas now coached by Golden Square great Jack Geary on 23 March at Pigeon Park.