After a year on the sidelines and now more than two years removed from their last premiership, the changing of the guard seemed inevitable for the Marrar Bombers.
A drought breaking Grand Final win in 2017 saw a handful of stalwarts ride into the sunset, ditto for 2018, but this year was always tailor made for the next generation of ‘baby bombers’ to take their rightful spot as the leaders of the club.
As of round five, Marrar is flying high and coach Shane Lenon believes those new leaders are a big reason why.
“There’s three or four of those blokes that are having a fair bit of input into game plans, trainings and structures,” Lenon said.
Zach Walgers, Jack Reynolds, Rhys Mooney, and young Toby Lawler, they’ve all done a fantastic job and I think are all really enjoying the added input they get to have.
Jackson Moye is our captain and Nick Molkentin is the vice-captain and they’re a bit more seasoned and have really helped bring those younger blokes along and find their voices.”
In addition to the young (albeit seasoned) leaders, Lenon has been more than impressed with the Bombers marquee recruit James Lawton.
The former Ganmain spearhead arrived with undeniable credentials but according to Lenon, his 31 goals in five games – 14 more than his nearest opponent – are perhaps least of what he’s brought to Langtry Oval.
“The impressive thing with him (Lawton) is that while yes, he’s hitting the scoreboard, I’ve been more impressed with his team work and ability to lift the young blokes around him.
We’re really fortunate to have a guy like him that can win a game off his own boot, but he has the respect of the team because he is willing to take a backseat if that’s what required to win a game of footy.”
Much like Lawton, the club itself is in a purple patch at the moment.
Both the seniors and reserves are situated in the top four and netball as a collective is as strong as it’s been in years.
“We’re four and one after five weeks and you have to be pretty happy with that. As a club we’re heading in the right direction, our 17’s are improving every week, our ressies are four and one as well, the netball club is going well.”
But what is perhaps most rewarding for the Bombers is that these strong displays across multiple grades are coming in a year that has already yielded off field success.
The long-awaited opening of “The Hangar” earlier this year has made for arguably the best spectator experience in the entire Farrer League and presents an everyday reminder of the sacrifices made by those at the club over the past two years.
“Let’s be honest, volunteers are the true heroes of footy clubs. They’re there because they love the place, they raise the money, they improve facilities and without them you don’t have a club,” he said
They’d have to be proud of what they’ve achieved out there, we have the electronic scoreboard, the watering system, the Hanger is an outstanding set up and it’s not just for us, it’s for the whole community.”
Whether “The Hangar” will be privy to post-Grand Final celebrations like in years past remains to be scene, but for now the Bombers are on autopilot and likely to be on the radar come September.