Rochester’s Pioneers leave plenty to be admired

By Brayden May

THE NAB league season came to an end for the Bendigo Pioneers on August 24, with the side falling in a wildcard clash with Northern Knights.

With a 5-10 record, it was the Pioneers' best season of this decade, and while they didn't figure in the finals series, the development of their young players meant 2019 was a major success for the club.

“It was a great season for us," Pioneers talent manager Steve Sharp said.

“We had seven players invited to the different combines, we had our third highest percentage on the ladder of the program, so it shows we have been able to add another dimension to our game.

“We made it through to the wildcard, and while we were beaten by the better team on the day, we were really excited to have made it.”

Sharp said there was a lot to like about Rochester's Pioneers exports despite only playing a few games between them in 2019.

Adam McPhee – Games played: 2

Adam found himself in the same position as a lot of the bottom age guys where we try and play them for two or three games to give them a taste of the level. Unfortunately he had a disruption with his knee in the middle of the year but he did go back and play some senior footy at Rochy. We think he performed well.

Ben Atley – Games played: 0

Ben is seen very much as a developing player despite not playing any games this year. When we brought Ben into the program we knew he was a late developer and we thought it was best for his development to stay involved with us. We will certainly be watching him going forward.

Nathan Kay – Games played: 0

Unfortunately Nathan missed the year with an ACL injury and wasn’t able to get on the ground. The injury obviously slowed him down and we’re hopeful he can bounce back in a strong way.