MATESHIP: The Fassifern Bombers celebrate during the 2018 RLI Grand Final.
MATESHIP: The Fassifern Bombers celebrate during the 2018 RLI Grand Final.

Bombers scheme to bring down premiers

RUGBY LEAGUE: Brothers will start with a 'big target on their heads' should a shortened A-Grade competition proceed.

Fassifern Bombers coach Michael Hayes said with stars like reigning Player of the Year Wes Conlon and halfback Chris Ash in their line-up the perennial heavyweights would be firm favourites to lift the trophy.

"Any team with Wes Conlon in it is going to be tough," he said.

"Swifts will be hard to beat as well."

After a solid pre-season, the Bombers were prepared to climb back up the ladder, with the coach targeting nothing less than a finals appearance prior to the coronavirus shutdown.

"I don't think you should start playing if you are not going to aim for the finals," he said.

"We have a good group of young fellas.

"We were keen to get going but there is not much you can do about it.

"Those are the cards we've been dealt.

"We'll just need to regroup and start again."

If an abbreviated competition gets underway, Hayes will look to a core group of 20-23-year-olds to do the bulk of the heavy lifting.

He said they were all ready to perform at the highest local level and he was keen to mould them into a team capable of challenging for the premiership.

"We have 25 seriously playing A-Grade and pushing each other," he said.

"It is one big group.

"There are no clicks.

"Everyone gets along.

"There are some good fellas out there.

"They seem keen to stick together and build over the next couple of seasons."

The Bombers will promote a spate of talents from the Reserve Grade side which stormed emphatically into last year's grand final, including the reliable Kerry Cobbin.

Classy hooker Lachlan Postle returns from a knee reconstruction and is expected to make a difference from the bench.

Sizeable second rower Charlie Christensen will also add punch from the bench throughout the early rounds but is tipped to step up and grab a starting position as his fitness increases.

"Hopefully, he puts his stamp on it and really makes it his own," Hayes said.

Hayes' grandfathers on either side Jack Hayes and Doug Cobbin played a huge part in founding the Fassifern club.

Proud to be taking the reins at the club with which his family shares such rich history, he said the Bombers greatest strengths were their attuned sense of family, generous community spirit and passionate supporter base.

"Like every club says it is family, but Fassifern really does have that,' Hayes said.