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Retaining the Norm Johnstone Trophy


Excited and optimistic is how Senior Coach Nick Mitchell describes himself going into Round 1 of the VAFA season.

There is plenty of pride on the line as Fitzroy goes into battle with Parkdale at the Gerry Green Reserve this Saturday to retain the Norm Johnstone Trophy, which is on the line each time the teams meet.

The Roys have not relinquished the cup since being in Premier B and this will be a big test with a young team on the park. There are likely to be eight new faces in the side, with prodigal sons Max Ellis and Nathan Jumeau being named.

There will also be some bitter-sweet memories for the Roy Boys, who defeated Parkdale in the final game of the 2016 season, only to miss out on finals thanks to other results on the day.

Those memories are not likely to affect the five Under 19s players who will step up into the senior side.

There is a lot of opportunity for the young guys,Nick said.

They are bound to make mistakes but if they have a go every week and play the way we want to play in terms of effort, set ups and ball movement, then I will be happy.

All I want to see this week is a huge effort. There are bound to be some nerves in the first round, but this is a winnable game./p>

Nick said the focus in the pre-season had been on fitness given Fitzroys poor starts in recent seasons. The heavy workload has proved beneficial but Nick says there is a difference between fit and match fit. It might take a while to gel with so many new players but the youth and enthusiasm is great./p>

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