After having to forfeit two games last year due to lack of numbers, the Nepean Ducks are determined to secure more talent this upcoming Gridiron NSW season.
For the first time in their proud history the Ducks had to pull out of two Men’s fixtures last season due to player depth – it was a circumstance they were gutted to be in, and they don’t want to ever see it happen again.
That’s why they are going all out in their attempt to recruit more players this season for their U19 Colts and Men’s teams.
“We went in very light on numbers last season. It was probably our smallest team and following injuries and people having other commitments, we just didn’t have the manpower,” Nepean Ducks President, Darren White told the Weekender.
“Forfeiting games is not something we were proud of because there had only been one forfeit in our entire existence, and we ended up having two last season. It was not an ideal situation to be in.”
To prevent the Ducks from being short on players again, they are upping the ante when it comes to recruitment.
Last month, the Ducks held a Combine Day at UWS Oval for 16 to-19-year-olds interested in playing America’s biggest sport.
“The Combine Day was really successful, we had over 30 people turn up, which was really good to see,” White said.
“It was run by our new Colts head coach Lachlan Bignall, who was a member of our first Colts team back in 2016.
“When pre-season training kicks off on Tuesday, June 13, it’ll be interesting to see how many we convert from the Combine Day to the Colts team.”
But while the Ducks are doing their best to boost players numbers for the 2023 season, they know they have a tough mountain to climb.
Not only is gridiron a niche sport in Australia and that in itself makes it tricky, they’re also trying to recruit against other teams in the league – all trying to create a winning advantage.
“We prefer to build through our juniors and local players because, at the end of the day, it’s an amateur competition and we’re just a bunch of guys that want to play football,” White said.
“There’s no money in the sport, you don’t win money after you win the Championship.
“It’s all for personal glory if you do win.
“It’s a tough spot to be in when some of the clubs do that.”
If you’re interested in trying a new sport like American Football in 2023, the Nepean Ducks want to hear from you.
Positions in both the Colts and Men’s teams are still available.
The highly anticipated 2023 seasons begin in September.
To sign up or for more information, visit https://bit.ly/3MICjeJ or send the Ducks a message via social media.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.