Forbes Magpies ready to swoop on 2022 season

THE PRODIGAL SON RETURNS: Jake Grace will be a crucial addition to the Forbes Magpies squad this season. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE.

THE PRODIGAL SON RETURNS: Jake Grace will be a crucial addition to the Forbes Magpies squad this season. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE.

The first round of the Peter McDonald Premiership is already underway, and after a bye, the Forbes Magpies are ready to swoop on the competition and make their run at the flag.

Ahead of their season opener at home on April 24 against former Group 10 side the Mudgee Dragons, Cameron Greenhalgh's men took part in a brutal SAS-style team bonding activity after a strong preseason.

Coach Greenhalgh said it was important this year his side ripped in for the full 80 minutes.

"It's just about staying in the fight and giving them the belief they can do it for the full 80 minutes...we have to have the belief that if we keep working and stick with it, when can trust the process to deliver results," he said.

"This year we want to hang on to the ball as much as we can as well, because we have a bit of a habit at Forbes of defending too much!

"That's great practice for the pointy end of the season, but not so much during.

"If we can get better earlier in games and hang on to the footy I think we'll go real well with the squad we've got.

"There's plenty of depth in the forward stocks and we have super strong reserve grade numbers which will really help as well," said Greenhalgh.

Greenhalgh said there have been some crucial additions to the squad this season.

"The preseason has been really good so far, everyone is working really hard and it's a good feel amongst the boys getting such good numbers too," he said.

"We were quite young last year so the older boys we have brought back have helped the young fellas get their confidence back.

"The chat from the experienced boys on the training track has also been really important, they make sure no one is cutting any corners, and the young boys see that, respond to it, and work even harder," Greenhalgh said.

Next weekend's season opener at for Forbes against Mudgee at Spooner Oval will be a good test straight up, with the Dragons accounting for Macquarie 24-26 in what was the first game of the Peter McDonald Premiership, that combines Group 10 and Group 11.

"The crossover games will be real interesting, they play a different type of footy in Group 10," said Greenhalgh.

"On paper Mudgee are a real good squad, I think it's a good test. People are starting to get excited around town, so I can't wait for the game."

Squad

IN: Jake Grace (retirement), Dawson Nanai (Temora), Alvin Maungaati (Western Suburbs), Brad McMillan (Eugowra), Ben Robinson (retirement)

Players to watch

Coaches never like to single people out of course, but Greenhalgh has loved what his experienced boys Brad McMillan, Jake Grace and Mitch Andrews have brought to the table this preseason.

"The way Jake goes about things, he doesn't want anyone to beat him at all, in anything, and he's looking in ripper nick," Greenhalgh said of an old club favourite.

"Brad is also going really well and he's been pushing the young fellas, while Mitch has gotten over some niggles and got through the preseason injury-free. He's one of the best trainers I've ever worked with, so he's always impressive."