DANIEL Hoogerwerf is confident his Aberdeen Tigers can break their A Plus Contracting 2014 Group 21 first grade drought at home tomorrow night.
The young Tiger captain-coach is in his first stint as a senior coach.
While the Tigers have lost their opening two matches, the number nine is confident they can turn it around against Muswellbrook Rams at their home ground, McKinnon Field.
“We’ve had a couple of losses to start,” Hoogerwerf said.
“I’ve never played with seven or eight of this side before and we’re taking a little time to gel.
“But they’ve all got the right attitude – have a good attitude to training and playing.”
Hoogerwerf, 24, is a boilermaker by trade and works as a contractor in the Mt Arthur coal mine.
He has all day work so it fits in nicely with his coaching job, which he has waded into with enthusiasm.
“I am enjoying it,” he said.
“I’ve only coached at junior level before and it’s been a bit of a test. But so far, so good.”
Aberdeen has suffered from a player drain in recent seasons but Hoogerwerf is hopeful that has been arrested and the Tigers can roar again.
Tomorrow night’s game is a vital one for both sides.
While Aberdeen has lost both opening games, Muswellbrook Rams lost their first game and then drew 24-all with reigning premiers Denman last Saturday night at Olympic Park.
Aberdeen’s two losses haven’t been as bad as they might look on paper either.
“There are a lot of positives from both games,” Hoogerwerf said.
“We won the second half against Greta and were 18-all with Scone in the second half last week.
“We played well in patches .
“Playing Muswellbrook at home though is a big game for us.
“We’ve got to get a win before the Easter break.”
Fullback Sean Millwood and props Zac Douglas and Cameron Savage loom as key personnel for the Tigers.
Savage has relished the step up from second grade while Douglas is from Cobar and came with last year’s captain-coach James Neyland.
Neyland, an impressive halfback with a touch of class, has remained to help Hoogerwerf marshall the Tiger troops.
“He is a very good player,” Hoogerwerf said of Neyland.
“He’s still playing very good football despite being 30.
“He has the experience we all lack.”
Brenton Thomas will play outside Neyland at five-eighth.
“He’s a very promising footballer, Hoogerwerf added.
“He’s still finding his feet in first grade.
“He played some bits and pieces last year but this is his first full year in first grade and he’s giving it a good crack.”
While Aberdeen and Muswellbrook match up at McKinnon Field tomorrow night, Scone goes to Singleton on Sunday while Denman and Greta Branxton stage a grand final replay at Denman Oval on Sunday as well.