Last year’s reigning champions of the Southern Region Rugby competition the Clutha Valley premiers are aiming for another year of success.

The premiers, known as the Valley Condors, won the Southern Region Rugby competition in 2021 and 2022, and are at least aiming for top four this season, if not three for three.

The team has been practising since January and they’ve been putting in the hard yards despite losing some key players and having a squad of only 23 players.

Prems coach Aaron Gouman said the boys would be focusing on each game week by week.

‘‘We’ve been focusing on our training and keeping the boys fit and prepared. Our pre-season games went well and we won against Balfour and Edendale, along with a win in our first season game against Lawrence which gave the boys a bit of a boost in confidence.’’

Gouman is being assisted by Clint McIvor, Mike Blair and Mat Anderson this year to bring the boys positive results in the season.

The team is managed by Jason Rutter and their medic-physio is Mark Calder to keep the boys on the field.

This year the squad is being captained by Jordan Willocks once again with vice captain Damian Wilson backing him up to lead the team to victory once again.

Gouman said players to watch would be the loose forward trio of Willocks, Wilson and Liam Turnbull, but a few new players would be raring to go on the pitch as well.

Premiers captain Jordan Willocks said he was very excited to see how the season played out.

‘‘I reckon the boys are more than ready to rock and roll. We’ve done well in our games so far so we’re keeping positive as we tick along.

‘‘It could be a bit harder with some players not returning this year and having a smaller squad but if we put our minds to it and focus on the game, we’ll power through and get results.

‘‘It gives us a good boost seeing the amount of support we receive on the sideline so we’re really looking forward once again to seeing them cheer us on throughout the season, and we’re very thankful we’ve got a tight-knit community in Valley.’’

Clutha Valley is thankful to the endless support and sponsorship they receive and look forward to seeing support this season. For any inquiries on playing for the premiers, contact Aaron Gouman on 0274 136-105 or check out the Clutha Valley RFC boys and supporters Facebook page.

Up the Valley!

Big weeks ahead . . . The Clutha Valley premiers gearing up for weekend games at their Thursday practices. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN