WINNING the 2017 BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League crown hasn’t quenched the Aberdeen Tigers’ thirst for more success.
In fact, it’s made the club even hungrier.
Within two months of the first grade outfit knocking over the Muswellbrook Rams 36-26 and the “seconds” pipping the Singleton Greyhounds 26-22 in their respective deciders, the club is already focussed on backing up that performance in 2018.
Co-coaches Daniel Hoogerwerf and Shane Hasselmann have been re-appointed to guide the senior squad again, as has Sean Millwood in reserves.
Tigers stalwart Mark Wilton and grand final hero Liam Foran will share the under-18 duties, while Rachel Holborow and Brad Fenton are teaming up to lead the women’s league tag outfit.
“Everyone’s a local, except for Foz (Foran), which is a great thing for the club,” Hoogerwerf said.
“And, there’s a lot of experience in the coaching ranks – it’s a good mix.
“We’re aiming high again.
“However, it would be nice to finish in a top two spot, and host a home major semi-final, instead of doing it the hard way [like this season].
“Luckily, 95 per cent of the squad is sticking around.”
Hoogerwerf said the fortunes of the club’s lower grades were in good hands, too.
“We’re hoping to bring a few youngsters back to the fold,” he admitted.
“The Tigers have only had two junior sides in the past eight years.
“So, it’s exciting to field an under-18 team again.
“Mark’s a great asset, especially with his duties with the young rep players.
“Plus, all of his friends are that age,” he added with a laugh.
“Sean’s done a terrific job with the reserves – and they’ll be aiming for the three-peat in 2018 with the same group of guys.
“I’m sure Rachel and Brad can build on the effort of the women’s league tag, too.
“This year was the girls’ best season.
“It’s just a matter of getting the numbers at training.
“Overall, everything’s looking positive for another big year.
“There’s no reason we can’t do it again [win both premierships].
“But, the club championship is definitely on our radar, too.”
The Tigers will wrap up proceedings for 2017 with its presentation night at the Aberdeen Sport and Recreation Club on Saturday, November 11, from 6pm.
Tickets – $30 (single), $55 (double) and $65 (family – two adults, two children) – are still available.