A GOOD pre-season just got even better for Bidgee Hurricanes boss Chris Bamford after he was appointed Group 20 representative coach.
- RELATED: Riverina football changes
The Kiwi, considered one of the premier forwards in the region, said he was delighted to take charge of the Razorbacks this year.
"I'm very happy to get the gig," he said.
"It's a great honour and it really helps me out with my coaching career, it's a good thing to add to my repertoire."
But Bamford's immediate concern is steering the 'Canes through this weekend's Paul Kelly Memorial Shield at Yenda where they will be the hunted, rather than the hunters.
After storming into the semi-finals with classy wins over bush powerhouse Orange CYMS and Wagga Brothers in the West Wyalong Knockout last month, there is no chance of any local clubs underestimating Bidgee.
Bamford said his side's next challenge would be coming to terms with the target that's now painted on its back.
"We've got a target on us now and it's how you deal with it," he said.
"It doesn't matter who you play against, top or bottom teams we have to have the same attitude in every game.
"The boys are looking great at the moment but we're pretty much over these knockouts, they just can't wait for the season to start to be honest.
"But our goal is to win it and then go on to bigger and better things."
Helping with that task has been the ease in which the club's new signings have integrated in the squad.
"Willy Newton it's as if he never left and our two halves (Sean Scott and Ky Langford) are like peas in a pod, like little brothers," Bamford said.
"We've got a good team culture. Everyone's getting along and that's going to roll onto the footy field and reflect in our play."
The Hurricanes have been drawn alongside Darlington Point-Coleambally and Hay for Sunday's knockout, and Bamford said he knew what to expect from the Roosters after watching them run around in West Wyalong.
"They weren't too bad," he said.
"They scored points against the Southcity Bulls, who won the thing, so they won't be easybeats and we won't be taking them lightly."