OXLEY DIGGERS will have their first game at Scully Park today although they will still be the away team as they take on premiers West Lions.
The Diggers’ start to the season hasn’t been pretty but has been expected as a new team coming into a competition with their roster.
Coach Jamie Trindall, along with president and co-founder Mick Schmiedel, made a decision not to poach any top grade players from other clubs when they formed the new venture.
That decision, whilst valiant, has led to the side being made up of current and former second division players, second grade players, a few old faces, as well as some young blokes playing in the top grade.
After having 196 points piled on them in the past two games, Trindall said he needed the squad to drop the second division mentality.
“They think it is all right to just turn up and play on weekends without training,” Trindall said.
“You can’t get away with that at this level.
“We need a change in attitude.”
Another unique issue the club is facing is the reverse of that.
“Sometimes we get 30 people at training and then not showing up for games.”
The club has 42 players on its books and, between training and playing, the same group of players rarely show up.
Of course they have some core players that do, but it is the rest who are letting the club down.
“If we could get our best 13 players to a game we would have a decent side,” Trindall said.
“As it is, I can only fill in the team sheet an hour before kick-off, which makes it very hard.”
The Diggers showed against Gunnedah that they could score points when given the chance.
The 88-30 scoreline was probably a good reflection of where they are.
“Our fitness is our biggest concern, and defence,” Trindall said.
“If we improve our fitness, our defence will improve with it.”
“But I have got to get the boys to training first.”
The Lions are also in a rebuilding phase, but are well ahead of Diggers at the moment after a good win over Narrabri last week following a loss to the Bears in the opener.
While it may or may not be this week, Schmiedel said the Diggers would get a win this year.
“We have targeted at least three teams we can beat,” Schmiedel said.
“We will not finish the season winless.”
The new club would love to christen its new strip this week with a win as it wears its full kit for the first time.
The first all-Scully Park local derby will start at noon with Ladies’ league tag.
Both other games will be played tomorrow, with Gunnedah hoping to stay on top as it travels to Narrabri and Wee Waa with everything to do as it takes on North at Jack Woolaston Oval.