Pictured above from L-R: Tyson Wanngra , Willy Baird, President Mark Bresnehan, Marty Corrie and Coach John Pratt
SOUTH Mildura have signed another Northern Territory Football League player, Marty Corrie, as they go in search of their first Sunraysia Football Netball League premiership in more than two decades.
The Bulldogs have not tasted ultimate success since 1998, but Corrie could be the missing piece in the puzzle.
The classy half-back joins Darwin Buffaloes teammates Tyson Wanngra and Willy Baird as the club’s major signings.
Bulldogs coach John Pratt said Corrie had fielded offers from a number of other clubs, but his close relationship with the Dogs’ other Darwin recruits swayed his decision
“When he initially indicated he might want to come down south and play we jumped at it,” Pratt said.
“He obviously has a pretty close relationship with the other Darwin boys.
“To actually get him in town and be a part of the group is really exciting – he actually played in trial game last weekend after getting into Mildura at midnight on Friday night and he probably had 30-35 touches in a half.
“I’d heard a lot about him from different people up there (Northern Territory) and they say he is arguably the best half-back in the league.
“He can obviously play and he’s left and right (foot) and he just controls the footy back there (in defence).
“We obviously have a young group and just to add that experience is pretty exciting and great for us as a club and for our young group.”
The momentum at the Kennel has been building all summer since the appointment of Pratt as senior coach.
Pratt’s professional approach and on-field leadership has been credited by many with the renewed confidence coming out of Sarah Oval.
But the first-time coach knows they need to carry their strong pre-season into the season.
He said the first three weeks would provide a sense of where the club was at.
“It is a bit of the unknown,” Pratt said “We are confident, we have some really good recruits and have had a great pre-season, but you still never really know what is going to unfold until the season gets under way.
“We don’t know where we are going to be at until we play that round 1 and round 2.
“I know we will definitely be competitive, but you never know where you stand against these other sides until you actually play them because I’m sure they have all done their best over pre-season and have lots of new players.”
The Dogs have drawn Imperials, Irymple and Robinvale Euston, three potential finalists, in the opening three rounds.
Pratt said he wasn’t daunted by the challenge those teams posed.
He said he had spoken to his young group and encouraged them to embrace the challenge.
“I wouldn’t have asked for any other draw,” a positive Pratt said.
“As I have kept telling the boys we want to test ourselves against the best. The first three weeks are going to be a massive test for us, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and finding out where we are at.
“It’s a long season and, of course, you want to win those early games, but as long as we are competitive that is what I am looking for and from there we will continue to build and grow as the season goes on.
“The most important thing for us is to stick to what we have been working on over the pre-season, work together as a team and I’m sure the results will come.”
Photos and story courtesy of Sunraysia Daily