With another season under their belts, the Goulburn Valley Giants are hoping this year will be bigger and better than any before.
The AFL Masters club has had some changes at the top, but is ready and raring to go for another campaign.
Shane Stoll steps into the president’s role, while Buck McPhee is joined by Terry Mahoney at the helm — with the pair set to share duties as co-coaches this year.
But while some things have changed, the main aim of the Giants remains clear and concise — to provide an outlet for men of the region, and in the process support their collective mental health.
‘‘The big thing with masters football across the state is supporting men’s health,’’ McPhee said.
‘‘You play footy for a long time before you retire, and you do realise how much you missed it when you get back into it and have that outlet there again.
‘‘Last year we had about three blokes that just trained and didn’t play, that was enough for them.’’
Prospective players older than 35 are encouraged to head to training to get a feel for what the Giants are all about, with a laid-back atmosphere and focus on having a laugh with a few mates some of the cornerstone policies of the side.
‘‘People think it’s one thing, but when they come they realise it’s a whole step back from what they thought,’’ media manager David Davis said.
‘‘It’s very casual, it’s training at your own rate and it’s all about men’s health, getting fit and doing something — we just can’t emphasise that enough.’’
Training starts back on Mondays (St Mary’s school oval in Mooroopna) and Wednesdays (Kialla Recreation Reserve) from next week, and usually starts about 6pm.
This year will also mark a huge commitment for the club, with a masters carnival set to be staged in Mooroopna.
Early indicators are that up to 26 teams and 500 players from across the state — and possibly even further — will descend on Greater Shepparton in April for the massive event.
A Victoria Country and Victoria Metro women’s clash will also be played, with any masters women from the region interested in playing able to find more information on the Giants’ facebook page.
Next on the agenda for the outfit though will be a family day on February 18.
The event, which will be at Kialla Recreation Reserve, will have a free jumping castle and barbecue as well as an open training session for any interested players.
2018 GV Giants committee: Shane Stoll, Michelle Stevens, Rebecca Stoll, Peter Seddon, David Davis, Buck McPhee, Terry Mahoney, Travis Beck, Travas Wayman, Steve Kerwin, Grant Searle, Mick Emmanuelli, Amber Vanderwerf, Karinna Beck, Erin Davis.