Sport

Rennie on back foot in flag defence

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December 15, 2017

From heroes to zero.

After winning the Picola District Football League south-east premiership, Rennie is struggling for numbers again heading into next year.

Coach Craig Ednie, who may have to pull on the boots again next season, has seen an exodus of players from the club, but it will struggle to recruit again with its allocated player points dropping back down to 50 from 69.

‘‘We have probably lost about 10 players, a majority through retirement, but even if we kept our premiership side we would not be able to field the same team,’’ Ednie said.

‘‘The points system isn’t really designed for country clubs who don’t have a junior system — we will struggle to recruit, generally, most players are worth about four points.’’

Before Ednie’s arrival, the Grasshoppers were the laughing stock of the south-east division having lost 42 games on the trot before their fairytale flag run.

‘‘It was a decent turnaround, in the end, we were able to bring in good players, but now with our points dropping back down to 50 it’ll be a struggle to field a good side,’’ Ednie said.

The Grasshoppers upset Tungamah by 13 points at Katandra to claim the premiership, but they will be somewhat be brought back to reality, being allocated only five more points than the rest of the competition.

Club president Andrew Starr expressed his concern about the situation, but felt his club would just have to play with the cards it had been dealt.

‘‘The points have not really helped us at all, it is pretty hard to replace players when we don’t have a lot of juniors coming through,’’ Starr said.

‘‘The points system is focused on the bigger clubs and leagues, it tends to hurt the smaller ones a little more.

‘‘In saying that, the younger players that we do have will most likely get a run and we’ll just try to sprinkle the playing group with a few senior footballers.’’

Ednie, who pondered retirement, said he was obliged to play on again due to the situation.

‘‘I didn’t think I was going to play, but now I might have too,’’ he said.

Steve McKee, Dallas Gallagher and Nick O’Bryan are just a few players who have retired, while dynamic half-forward Cameron Sudholz, Lach Davies, Liam Russell and Tom Harbrow have all left to play elsewhere.

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