Hay Magpies look to rebuild heading into 2018 Group 20 season

BUILDING FOR 2018: Hay will look to rebound from a tough season last year when they travel to West Wyalong in the first round of the season on April 15. PHOTO: Anthony Stipo
BUILDING FOR 2018: Hay will look to rebound from a tough season last year when they travel to West Wyalong in the first round of the season on April 15. PHOTO: Anthony Stipo

It’s a case of building a club around decent people before worrying about the footballing ability for the Hay Magpies for the 2018 Group 20 season.

After a tough season in 2017, it is a case of rebuilding for the Magpies under new head coach Neil-John Nisbet who credited those who stuck it out in difficult circumstances. 

“All the blokes played for the right reasons last season,” he said.

“They did it tough because of the years before, and the poor buggers (sic) just had to get through the season, and they did that.”

Lessons have been learned from the difficulty faced a couple of years ago has the side looking to create a positive culture.

“We have gone past the point of hired guns who are just coming here because they are meant to be good footballers,” he said.

“We are looking to bring in decent footballers before getting decent footballers because it is all about building a good culture around the club.

“It is about enjoying football at the end of the day, and we are all about going back to mateship.”

With that in mind, the Magpies are still on the lookout for players who will fit into the makeup of their side.

“At this stage, we have pretty much the same personnel as last season,” he said.

“We are, like most clubs, are always on the lookout for more players but nothing has come to fruition at this point.

“They really will have to be a good fit for our club.”

Hay will start the season with the longest road trip of the competition when they travel to West Wyalong to take on the Mallee Men on April 15.

Nisbet isn’t too worried about the round one fixture at this stage.

“Travelling doesn't worry us as much as it might other sides,” he said.

“We live in an area where we will be travelling a fair distance most weeks, so it’s not something we really care too much about.

“It is only when teams come to us there seem to be issues.”

After the trip away for round one, the Magpies will return home to take on Tullibigeal Lake Cargelligo and Darlington Point Coleamabally before hitting the road again in round four.

Nisbet said there was only one aspect of the draw for the 2018 season which left him a bit annoyed.

“There is a string of away games for us in the middle to end of the year,” he said.

“It might make it hard to fill all commitments every weekend, but we will worry about that as it gets closer.”

Hay will play four out of six games away from home in between their two byes in round nine and round 16.