A testing double-header to begin the upcoming SEABL season was just what coach Sam Armstrong was hoping for.
The 2017 SEABL season fixtures were released on Thursday with the North-West Tall Timbers Thunder set to take on Kilsyth and Tasmanian rivals the Hobart Chargers in the opening round.
The upcoming season will also feature six Friday night games for the Coastal side and Armstrong believed the tough start would help his side gauge where they were at early on.
“It’s not a bad schedule for us,” Armstrong said. “In saying that there are certainly some tough periods for us throughout the season. It will be a tough start there for us within 24 hours of the season opening and will be a bit of an indifferent way to start but it will give us an idea quite early on in the season”.
“SEABL is now at a standard where there are no easy games and it will be a really tough way to start taking on Kilsyth and then travelling to Hobart. Hobart is one of those games where you are hoping for a win”.
“I know things have changed down there with a new venue and it’s always a great game but we will just focus on getting the win.”
The Thunder will play home at Ulverstone in the first four rounds of the season before they head to the mainland for a difficult double-header against Mt Gambier and Frankston.
Armstrong said he was aware there would be tough periods throughout the season and that would be one of them. “Like I’ve said before, within the standard of the league every road trip is going to be tough for us this year. Some teams we go up against on the road were playing playoffs last season but every trip is always going to be tough.”
With Friday night games back on a regular basis, Armstrong said it would change things in terms of preparation throughout the season but he thought it was a good thing for the side. He also touched on pre-season and how well the team were going ahead of round one in March.
“Playing more Friday games is going to be a bit of a change up to the routine and will keep things a little bit fresh. It will make things different for us in terms of preparation at stages but I think it’s really good overall”.
“Pre-season is going really well, we started up again on the 9th of January and have regrouped with the 10-12 players we have. We are now starting to put the foundations into place and looking forward to when our recruits arrive at the end of the month.”