COBRAM co-coach Trevor Mills admitted he didn’t know what to expect from his team in its first round match against Barooga on Saturday.
So he and fellow first-year coach Mat Hyde were left pleasantly surprised by their team’s 105-point win in the derby at Scott Oval.
“I said to Mat before the game, ‘we’ve lost so many players the last few years I don’t really know where we’re at’,” Mills said.
“I wasn’t not expecting to win, I had a feeling we were fit and ready.
“It seems we’re very united this year.”
Cobram got away to a bright start with a five goals to two quarter but could only manage one goal in the second term as it held onto a 22-point lead at the main break.
But the floodgates opened after half-time as the Tigers slammed on six unanswered goals to extend their lead to 61 points.
The last quarter was merely a training drill for a young Cobram side.
It continued to pile on the goals, kicking nine to two as Barooga struggled to keep up with the pace.
Young midfielder Tom Thorsen showed he’s going to be crucial to Cobram’s finals chances with five goals while Dylan Ryan also impressed with five of his own.
Mills said the departure of 13 players from Cobram’s 2011 grand final side had given the club a great chance to start afresh.
“The loss of those guys has coincided with a lot of young players coming through,” he said.
“We’ve lost some big names and that’s why no one is really rating us this year.
“We’re hopeful of making the six but obviously all the talk is about Echuca United, Mulwala and Finley.”
Nicholas Tassell was another young player to please the coach with a classy game running off the half-back flank.
Mills admitted his ability to run free had been a credit to the rest of the backline who had covered him on his runs up the field.
In an otherwise disappointing performance for Barooga, Luke Jarjoura was a shining light with four of his team’s five goals.
At Lonsdale Reserve Mulwala signalled its intentions for the year with a mammoth 202-point thrashing of Rumbalara.
The Lions kicked an incredible 38 goals, with recruit Chase Strawhorn the pick of the forwards with 12 goals.
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