A meteoric rise to the 2015 Division 2 grand final had many predicting Murrumbeena to become a premiership threat in the ensuing years.
That hasn’t eventuated. Last season proved to be a year in which everything that could go wrong did, with injuries to key personnel crippling the side and resulted in the club becoming September spectators.
It was a year that disappointed all at the Beena Arena, but coach Steve Wright reckons the club is much better placed for success coming into 2017.
“Yeah 2016 was a little disappointing, where we didn’t play finals, and I thought we came into the year with some injuries,” Wright said.
“All of those guys have now got through another season of football, they’re all fit and well and we’ve have had a fine preseason with everybody up and running.
“Hopefully that can take of itself and we can play finals this year and maybe pop up to Division 1.”
Murrumbeena has been notorious for sluggish performances early in recent seasons; even in its grand final year, the club only won three of its first seven matches.
This is something Wright is keen to rectify, having identified wins early in the season as key to the Beena’s resurgence in 2017.
“One thing that we have focussed on, you know, we need to have a good start (to the year) because you need to get a little bit of momentum. You get a good start and everyone gets a bit of confidence and away you go,” Wright said.
“We’ve spoken about that all preseason and we’re trying to work towards a couple of wins early on.”
It seems the players have already put the disappointment of last year behind, with an air of enthusiasm and optimism around the group. Numbers at preseason training sessions have so far been bolstered by some new additions as the club builds toward their goal of finals this season.
“Numbers (at training) have been great in comparison to maybe the last couple of years and the moral around the club has been really good,” captain Mitch Walder said.
Murrumbeena will be looking for its first Round 1 victory since 2014 when it takes on Chelsea Heights at Beazley Reserve on April 1.