The Bowral Blacks are ready to take to the field for their first challenge of 2017.
The first grade side will play their first match of the season against Shoalhaven on March 25.
The Blacks will have a home ground advantage in the first round match.
The team commenced pre-season training in January and coach Pete Burt said the team was in good form.
“Our preseason has gone very well,” he said.
“We have been a bit hindered by the weather, with some of our preseason trials having been cancelled but everyone is in the same boat,”
The Blacks were supposed to face trail matches against the Penrith Emus and Canberra Royals on March 18, but the wet weather forced the matches to be cancelled.
Despite the missed trials, Burt said the team was very fit.
“We’ve been training at F45 and The Shed and everyone is looking really good,” he said.
Burt said the round one match would be a close contest.
“We finished above Shoalhaven last season but that doesn’t mean too much,” he said.
We want to start the season strong and build into our structures. We just want to make sure we get the simple things right.Bowral Blacks coach Pete Burt
“From all accounts they have a had a really strong preseason. It will be a tough game, but it’s also set to be a wet one which will even things out a bit.”
Burt said the team would work on perfecting the basics in the opening games of the season.
“We want to start the season strong and build into our structures, we are not expecting to do anything drastic in the first few weeks, we just want to make sure we get the simple things right,” he said.
“Each week we want to improve our play and get better and better.”
Coaches said that the Blacks were well placed to succeed off the back of a fantastic 2016 season.
The 2016 season broke an eight-year streak since Bowral’s first grade team made it to finals.
The Blacks developed in to a cohesive team under the expert coaching from Gene Fairbanks, Al Kanaar and Peter Burt, and the results spoke for themselves.
This year, the team has aimed to play hard and win the premiership.
Burt said the team hoped to see a big crowd at the season opener.
“Last year the crowds got better and bigger at each match so hopefully this year we cant entertain some big crowds,” he said.
The bulk of the players have returned from last year but there a few new faces in the squad. Burt said the team was still in the process of recruiting from overseas.
The round one match will commence at 3.20pm on March 25.