Homegrown talent key to Rams’ hopes
Northampton will be looking to improve on their dismal 2015 GNFL campaign by cultivating some of the home-grown talent it has on its list.
The Rams finished on the bottom of the table last year with only a draw against Railways interrupting the succession of losses, but head coach Jock O’Malley was optimistic about the club’s chances of rising up the ladder this season.
O’Malley said the return of some familiar names would help strengthen their list, while the natural evolution of his younger players also gave him cause for hope.
“The good things for us is that all the blokes who are coming to training are all Northampton names,” he said.
“We’ve got a couple of the Cripps boys and a few young blokes from Kalbarri… (and) hopefully our bad luck’s gone by-the-by after last year.
“It’s a good sign for the club that all those guys are homegrown names and homegrown boys and that’s the most pleasing thing.”
The addition of Cale and Ethan Cripps should strengthen the Rams’ midfield and also provide versatility around the ground, while the addition of schoolteacher Matt Nicholson should also add depth.
O’Malley said he was also hopeful ex-Fremantle Docker Paul Hasleby might also suit up for a couple of cameo appearances during the year.
“That’s the good thing about him; he’s climbed the mountain of success and for him to come back and play for the town where he’s grown up, hats off to him because there’s not too many blokes who play AFL and then go back and do that,” he said.
“It’s a credit to him and his family.”
One player who won’t be lining up for the Rams this year is youngster Jack Walsh, who moved to Brigades during the off-season.
O’Malley said Walsh had been to a training session with the Rams but then suddenly had a change of heart and for reasons unknown to him, decided to move to last year’s premiers.
“We’re very disappointed to lose him because he’s grown up in Northampton and I know the club did a lot for him last year,” he said.
“He’s highly regarded, so to lose him to a club in town is disappointing, but there’s not much you can do about it.”
The Rams’ first game this season is against Chapman Valley at Nabawa on April 23.
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