MFL | Numurkah re-signs Sean Harrap, welcomes ladder-leader Cobram

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Sticking around: Numurkah has re-signed coach Sean Harrap for another season. Photo by Luke Hemer

It has been a busy bye week for Numurkah.

Currently sitting eighth on the Murray Football League ladder with their hopes of finals football all but dashed, the Blues have quickly turned their attention to 2023, re-signing coach Sean Harrap for another season.

Harrap, who coached Shepparton to its memorable 2018 Goulburn Valley League triumph, has inspired rapid improvement at the Numurkah Showgrounds in his two seasons at the helm.

The Blues have already bested their four wins from 2021 with seven in 2022 — and still have three more opportunities to add to that tally.

Harrap said it was incredibly exciting being locked in for another season at Numurkah.

“I am very happy to be staying on next season, we’ve made some really big improvements and still have a bit of fire in the belly to press on and keep working with this younger group,” Harrap said.

“As a whole I am happy with where we are at, and leading into next year it will be a case of adding a few more players to top us up and continuing to press forward towards a finals berth.”

A pivotal part of any rebuild, the development of Numurkah’s array of up-and-coming youngsters has been particularly impressive, with many local kids taking the next step to becoming consistent contributors at senior level.

Harrap said being able to work with the exciting young talent on the list for another year made the decision to stay on board an easy one.

“I didn’t need a lot of convincing (to sign on), to be able to continue developing this group is incredibly exciting for me,” he said.

“Kade O’Dwyer has just turned 18 this year and has played some excellent footy through the middle of the ground this season, Jarrod Holmes is another one that has really come on and is very versatile.

“Hayden White, who we got in from Strathmerton, has had a great year down back, Charlie Hill, Flynn Penberthy, all these guys are having a big impact on our team, and with another year of development will just continue to get better.”

When it comes to this weekend, Numurkah will be out to make amends as it welcomes a Cobram team it lost to by 155 points back in round seven.

Harrap said he was confident his team could give a better account of itself against the ladder-leading Tigers this time around.

“It is definitely going to be very challenging for our group and when we played them last time they probably put together their best game of the year and we had a number of key guys missing,” he said.

“It was a very disappointing day and something we’ve learnt a lot from, so we just want to go out with really strong intent, play our style of footy and just give a more competitive effort.”

The Blues will have a near-full assortment of players this time around, with Charlie Hill and Hayden White a good chance to return to the lineup for this clash.

Around the grounds, nothing but a win will suffice for five-time reigning premier Nathalia as it travels to Finley with its finals chances hanging by a thread.

Echuca United and Mulwala conclude the round 16 split round, with the visiting Lions eager to lock in their place in the top two.