EASTERN Ranges want the 2013 TAC Cup season to be full of improvement.
Improved results, improved talent and an improved presence in its home area are all key performance indicators for the club after a couple of disappointing seasons on the field.
The Ranges have started in the right way with six players named in the early season Vic Metro under-18 squad, with club officials hopeful a couple of other players will also catch the eye of the Victorian selectors once the season gets going.
Tom Boyd, Jack Edwards, Daniel McStay, Ben Cavara, Mitch Honeychurch and Mitch Keedle have all made the early squad with Boyd, a key forward and predicted top-10 AFL draft pick, expected to miss the first four matches of the season due to being selected for an overseas tour with the Australian Institute of Sport squad.
Ranges talent manager Anthony Parkin said the club expected to have plenty to be excited about in 2013.
"We would like to think we will be more competitive and have more depth in our squad this season. Tom's absence will have an impact on us but once he comes back we will hopefully string some games together. You never know how results will go back but when we look at where we are now compared to where we were last year we think we can improve."
The Ranges have also been able to schedule two games at Bayswater Oval, including playing a twilight game there. The club has the right to play two or three matches at Bayswater Oval for the coming few seasons after AFL Victoria supported the installation of the ground's new lights.
The Ranges have played their matches at Box Hill City Oval for the past few seasons as they weren't able to find a venue with the right size and facilities to cater for TAC Cup football.
Parkin said his side would still play six games at Box Hill and games at Visy Park, Aurora Stadium [Tasmania] and Symonds Stadium [Geelong].
"Fortunately, we get to play on grounds which are AFL and VFL standard but there is not a ground out here [in our region] which is of that size and standing.
"Ringwood [Jubilee Park] and Bayswater Oval are two grounds close to that standard. Bayswater's size is terrific and its home change rooms are good but their visitors' change rooms aren't as good."
Parkin said bringing TAC Cup football back into the Ranges area would help show aspiring players what is required to play at elite level.
"I think it will be great for the players, staff and families but also for the young boys who want to come and have a look at what the TAC Cup is about.
"They might not know how tough it is but might come along and get an idea about how good TAC Cup football is."