The Deniliquin Rams footballers resume pre-season training on Monday night following the Christmas break.
Returning Rams player Ash Morris will have his first training run with the group after relocating back to Deniliquin during the holiday period after several years away.
Morris, who has taken up a teaching position at Deniliquin South School, said he was excited to be back at the club and starting training.
The 24 year-old has spent the past two seasons on Richmond’s VFL list, playing eight games for the Tigers in 2016 before missing last season with a back complaint.
‘‘I’m itching to get out on the paddock with the boys, especially after missing a year of footy,’’ said Morris, who won the Murray League’s O’Dwyer Medal when he last played for the Rams in 2013.
‘‘I probably could have got back on the park late last season, but with the year almost over it seemed pointless.
‘‘I loved my time training and learning more about the game with Richmond, but it’s exciting to be home to start a new chapter.
‘‘I’ve already had a few sessions in the Rams’ weights room, which they’ve upgraded over the summer and it looks fantastic. I hadn’t seen the new player changerooms either, and they look great too. It’s a really good facility for the players.’’
First-year Rams playing-coach Todd Gallagher said he’s looking forward to next week’s return to training, and welcoming Morris.
Gallagher said all past and prospective players are invited to join in training.
‘‘No doubt a player of Ash’s ability is going to add a bit of excitement to the training track.
‘‘Everyone is welcome to come to training, regardless of ability and intentions for the year ahead.
‘‘It’s no secret we struggled for numbers in the reserves last year so we want to turn that around.
‘‘We won seven games in the seniors (last year), so that’s a big positive, but depth is a key to success, both on and off the field.’’
The Rams will train each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5.45pm at the Hardinge St oval.
■ The Deni Rams netballers start pre-season on Monday night from 6pm at the Hardinge St oval.
Training is open to all netballers eligible for under-15s and above. Training will be held each Monday and Thursday for the next fortnight ahead of team selections, which start in February.
The January training sessions are not compulsory but all are welcome.