Rams stampede to round one

Luke Roberts (Jacob Pattison)323330_03

Harper Sercombe

The Western Rams are full of life and excitement as they get set to embark into their first season in the Western Region Football League.

It’s been an off-season full of changes for the former Riddell District club, with coach Ash Pritchard also arriving at the club.

While Pritchard said he is aware of the club’s storied past which includes not winning a game since 2018, he is confident heading into 2024.

“I know it’s going to be a challenge,” he said. “I’m totally aware of their past history being a local boy myself, so I’ve followed them for a fair while and watching their progression or lack of progression to be honest.

“We’ve been getting stuck into it and we’re looking pretty good in terms of numbers and getting our fitness base organised, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Pritchard said numbers have been promising throughout pre-season with his players sharing his excitement into the club’s new beginnings.

“The boys are looking forward to it, going from the Riddell league to playing divisional football is going to be a change for everybody but they’re excited because what we need to do is basically change the narrative around the football club,” he said.

“I’m no world beater, I’ve been around football my whole life, I’ve travelled around different states to get more experience, so I believe I could make a difference, what that difference may look like is yet to be seen but I’ve committed to it and I’m looking forward to it.

“I’m trying to teach them a different way of playing the game. I’m trying to get their mental capacity stronger and we’ve got to get used to winning, so it’s going to be a process.

“I believe they can do that, just looking at the guys I’ve got at training, there are some skilful kids there that I can work with. I look at the future as a bright thing and something to look forward to.

“We just need to change the narrative and the thought process of this particular club around the league, because the perception is that they are easy beats which obviously in the past they were but we’re going to stop that.”

The success of the Rams won’t be determined by where they finish on the ladder, Pritchard said, with his focus firmly set on seeing internal growth shoot through.

“I’m not going to put any win-loss ratios in place because that becomes unrealistic,” he said.

“But I’m quietly confident with what I’ve seen and the skill level of some of the players that we do have. We can build a team around that, and we will just stay positive.

We’re not going to win every game and we’re not going to lose every game. We’re just going to stay in the contest and keep moving with the times, look after each other and enjoy it hopefully.

“I wouldn’t believe that the boys would have had much fun in the past, so I want to make footy fun again for them. Something to look forward to going to, something to enjoy and spending time with their friends and winning games of footy.”

The Rams life in the WRFL is set to begin in a baptism of fire when the club takes to the field during round one against last seasons’ division 3 premiers, the Suns.

However, with a drought breaking and a famous piece of the club’s history to come with a win, Pritchard is hoping it can come sooner than later.

“I’m planning for that to happen in round one,” he said.

“We’re going to go into that prepared, we’re not going to be going into it questioning ourselves. We’ll see how it goes, we’re confident and we’re excited.”