Mustangs set bar high


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Terranova said his team must aim high following a hefty recruiting drive that has landed a number of highly-rated players at Crispe Park.

The Mustangs were convincingly bundled out of last year’s premiership race by Thomastown in the opening week of the final series, somewhat of a premature exit after finishing just a kick short of a grand final berth in 2012.

Since losing to the Bears, Terranova’s side has acquired Pascoe Vale premiership captain Michael Mannix and teammates Danny O’Sullivan, Brendon Meroli and Daniel Cowenberg, as well as Danny Delchano (University) and David McGregor (Port Melbourne Colts).

With much greater depth on his club’s list, the third-year coach has great expectations for the season ahead.

“I don’t expect anything less than a top-two finish,” Terranova told

“That’s the message that I’ve been sending and with the players that we’ve got, we’ve just got to make sure that week in and week out we just perform.

“I think our depth last year was one of our most critical issues. However, I did a mock side just a couple of weeks ago and I had 36 to choose from for Round 1.”

Terranova admitted he had entered this year’s transfer period with a different approach than in the past two seasons.

He conceded that a number of the club’s recruits in 2013 had failed to fire, which played a part in the Mustangs slipping to fourth spot after a third-place finish in his debut season of 2012.

“I supposed it’s a different tact this year,” Terranova said.

“(Last year) some of the recruits that we picked up didn’t fire the way we wanted them to fire.

“We’ve looked at things and we’ve got good blokes that can play good footy around the club, we’ve got A-Grade footballers.

“Definitely there’s been a bit of change in mindset but, in reality, we just weren’t good enough last year.”

Of the aforementioned signings, McGregor is well known to Reservoir fans having won a club leading goal kicker award prior to a six-year stint at the Port Melbourne Colts.

Also returning to Crispe Park is midfielder Dale Breeding after a break from the game. The midfielder finished runner-up to teammate Ryan Docherty in the Division 3 best and fairest award when he last played in 2010.

While happy with the return of some familiar faces, Terranova said it was a number of younger recruits who had impressed most on the training track.

“Danny Delchano has smashed all the time trials for us and he’s only 23 and Brendon Meroli has been fantastic on the track,” he said.

“They’re the younger blokes and new blokes into the club who are hopefully putting pressure on the blokes who thought they were walk-up starts last year.”

Dual best and fairest Cameron Rooney (pictured above) has re-committed to the club, while Ashley Flavel and Toby O’Meara will both go on again after combining for 189 goals over the past two seasons.

Meantime, joint best and fairest winner Justin Kuchel and Adam Meroli may both have delayed starts after suffering injuries in the pre-season.

Terranova said it was vital the club manages Meroli’s training load after an injury-interrupted 2013 that saw him feature in just eight games.

Ball magnet Jarrod Skinner has returned home after accepting the senior coaching position at Nyah Nyah West United. Terranova also confirmed Dallas King wouldn’t continue with the club in 2014, while he had not had any contact with Steven Hiho.

With the start of the season less than two months away, Reservoir will travel to Torquay for a bonding camp and a practice match against Bannockburn on March 1, before taking on Taylors Lakes, Albanvale and West Coburg in the weeks that follow.

Terranova said he had intentionally arranged to play practice matches against sides in higher divisions.

“West Coburg and Taylors Lakes are two very established sides and it will show me where we’re actually at,” Terranova said.

“(They are) two of the EDFL’s first division sides who will be up in the finals and they’ll be a good challenge.”


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