Rovers ready for round one

Pre-season is officially done and the Rovers open their 2024 campaign on Saturday, hosting the newly promoted Oakleigh at Trevor Barker Oval in Sandringham.

It’s been a solid pre-season for the Rovers under new senior coach Marty Pask, with strong numbers and a great feeling amongst the playing group. Two practice match hit outs has seen the Rovers losing narrowly to EFNL side Croydon, before defeating St Bedes/Mentone by 21 points. The boys have also played two intra-club matches either side of those matches.

The 2024 season was launched last Saturday evening at club sponsor Hotel Brighton with more than 100 people in attendance and plenty of excitement in the room ahead of the new campaign.

While the Under 19’s and Thirds started their season on the weekend gone (U19s had a big win over Old Melburnians while the Thirds went down to Mentone), the rest of the VAFA kicks-off this weekend.

Ahead of the season opener, Rovers coach Marty Pask said, “We have worked really hard to get our team to a point where they are ready to get out there now and compete.”

“That’s what our community deserves, to know we have a team that is going to compete.”

The Rovers, who finished fifth last season, haven’t had any significant departures, while there’s been a heavy focus on graduating players out of the u19 program which had a successful 2023 qualifying for the division 1 finals, many of which tasted senior football last season.

All nine senior home games for the club will be played at Trevor Barker Oval in 2024 due to the redevelopment of the pavilion at Boss James Reserve, with the first of those games at the VFL ground this weekend.

First up is Oakleigh, who enter Premier C after going down in the 2023 Division 1 Grand Final against Glen Eira at the same ground as Saturday’s contest. They’re always a tough opponent and it should prove to be a physical contest with both sides looking to start the year on a high.

The Seniors commence at 2:00pm with the Reserves at the standard time of 11:40am. The Rovers will be situated in the home rooms at the southern end (Zebras grandstand), with Oakleigh at the northern end under the social club. Permit/paid parking is available at the ground, with free parking available in nearby streets. Only HR officials are permitted to park inside the ground.

The Rovers will host Home Game Luncheons at every home game from 12pm at Trevor Barker Oval, inside the magnificent Sandy by the Bay function centre with our usual five-star caterers who are based at the venue.

Bookings are coming in fast for the opening match day function of the season, with seats filling up. Get in quick – order online here or directly through Gary Nash. The cost is $40 per person or purchase a 2024 Club Membership which includes entry. Bookings are essential!

We’re about to tick over 100 memberships sold so far which is an outstanding effort prior to the opening round. Our aim is for 150 this season in what will be a tough year financially for the club without its facilities at the Boss, so we’d appreciate the support. Sign up via the link below.

The Under 19’s get the weekend started, under the newly upgraded lights at Boss James Reserve, hosting Glen Eira from 7pm. Good to see the rivalry between these two sides resume in 2024 with the Gyphons making the jump up to division one.

First up at 9:20am on Saturday, the Senior Women open their 2024 season away at Albert Park (Ross Gregory Oval) against Power House. After a few departures, the Rovers drop back to division two this season and will be looking to make a strong start to their campaign.

The Thirds travel to Williamstown to face the CY’s at Loft Reserve also at 9:20am. The coaching line-up for 2024 has been locked in with club legend Steve Anderson leading the way, alongside newcomer Tim Lamb, and Andrew McGregor assisting. We’re still looking for a few players to fill the squad for the year, so if you’re keen to have a run, get in touch.

Before the weekend, it’s Thursday Selection Night, which this year will take place at the Hampton Bayside Bowls Club on Fewster Road. We welcome all supporters along – the bar is open from 4pm, with dinner served from approximately 7:30pm, prior to the teams being read out for the weekend’s action.

Go Rovers!

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