New approach for Magpies

THE Port Macquarie Magpies have kicked their first ball of the 2010 season at the club's opening training run in late January.

And, coach Scott Payne is calling on all players to forget about the past and look forward to a year that promises plenty.

'I have a good feeling about this season and I really just want the players to get along to training and see what we are all about,' he said.

'The committee is constantly meeting to make sure we are well-prepared and that our off-field activities will be fun and rewarding but I know the players will get a lot of benefits from this on the field as well.'

Payne cites an upcoming family camping trip for the club as one example of what lies ahead.

'I know pre-seasons can be pretty dour and a bit of a slog, however that's the last words I think you'll use about our upcoming pre-season,' he said.

'The club has pencilled in a family camping trip to Hat Head on February 27 and 28 and it's at these sorts of events we can combine a little fun with a little fitness and plenty of family memories, which is what football should be largely about.'

Payne is also confident that a number of the Port stars are ready for big seasons.

'I'm hoping our core players like Jesse Schmidt, Mark Harvey, Greg Dean and Dean Nankivell can get a full season and help lead both new recruits and our growing band of under 18s who are starting to make an impact in the senior ranks,' he explained.

'We have also had some interest from a few ex-Melburnians who have arrived in Port and we are keen for new players who may not have even kicked an Australian rules football to come along and give this sport a go.'

Magpies general manager Gordon Wiegold backed up Payne's sentiments and urged other members of the community to get involved with the club as they strive for three premierships.

Wiegold says the Magpies have a sponsors afternoon and draw at their major venue, The Settlers Inn, coming up on February 6 and anyone interested in becoming a sponsor of the club should ring Craig Carroll on 0413 300 365.

"Carroll is also the man to contact for all prospective under 18s players as he'll be hosting a meet and greet for them and parents this Sunday,? he said.

'This will give parents a chance to see how we're managing the environment to help these young men assimilate into the club's family atmosphere.

'Of course, we also have a home for our veterans and our casual footballers who will find a place in Paul Sheldon's reserves outfit which is gunning for nine straight premierships in a row.'

Training starts at 6pm tomorrow at Stuart Park and at that time every Tuesday and Thursday from now until the end of the season.

Players, supporters and parents are also invited back to The Settlers Inn tomorrow night for a barbecue and official welcome.

Any further enquiries can be made to Gordon Wiegold on 0418 266 700 or wiegold5@bigpond.com




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