Former Lion king happy with progress of pride of Manilla

CHRIS Vidler was back at his old stomping ground at Scully Park on Saturday night only this time he was playing as a Tiger.

The former West prop – player of the grand final last season as the Lions captured their fifth straight first grade premiership – is coaching Manilla in 2014.

They trialed against the Lions on Saturday night and, Vidler thought, did pretty well. 

“We put in a pretty decent effort considering we’re a Second Division side,” he said.

He’s their only First Division player and the Lions had quite a few first graders playing.

It was their third trial, in effect, after playing Norths seconds a couple of weeks ago and then in the Steve Pepperell Shield last weekend.

“We’ve got better each week,” Vidler said. “It’s still early stages.”

They are still getting a handle on the structure he’s trying to bring in.

Vidler said they  picked up a few injuries but not anything that should have too many repercussions for the first round.

“We’ve got a week off now,” he said.

“We’ll go from there.”

The game highlighted a few things for them.

“We need to improve in our defence and talk,” Vidler said.

That’s not to be unexpected though in a new side with new faces.

“The positives to come out of it are we’re starting to use our combinations a bit better now,” he said.

He is also a lot closer to settling on a side and positions.

Dylan Wells didn’t play on Saturday night but is one player that has caught Vidler’s attention.

“He hasn’t played for a few years,” he said.

“His last game was in minor league.

“He’s definitely impressed me.”

He also mentioned the man everyone only seems to know as Big T.

The Tigers had a tough season last year. They only won a few games.

Vidler is hoping to improve on that.

He’ll know a bit more after next Saturday when the Tigers kick-off their campaign against Bingara, although he isn’t really sure what to expect.

“I’ve got no idea what they’re like,” he said.

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