Nelson Bay have allowed Jayden Rymer to start hitting his straps in 2018 according to Marlins coach Sean McGrath.
The 2016 Elliott Davey Medal winner, for Black Diamond AFL best and fairest, moved into a five-way share of second spot on the overall individual standings after picking up maximum points from a man-of-the-match performance on Saturday.
McGrath reckons Rymer has been more invested in the 2018 campaign compared to last year and his teammates have helped the cause.
“His game has been getting better and better each week,” McGrath said.
“He seems a lot more invested than last year. He’s keen, his enthusiasm levels are up and that’s starting to show now.
“But it [the team impact] is nearly the other way round. We were probably a few weeks behind in our preparation and now the team has started to play how we want.
“This has allowed Jayden to play his natural role rather than carry everybody on his back and do everything himself.”
Nelson Bay host Warners Bay at Dick Burwell Oval on Saturday with McGrath saying Rymer would spend “the majority of time in the middle, but we’ll try and throw him forward as much as we can to stretch them as much as we can”.
Little separates the clubs on the competition ladder with the Marlins, semi-finalists the previous two seasons, eighth with a 2-3 win-loss record while the Bulldogs are equal fifth alongside three others having evenly split results from four outings.
Chris Eddy and Pat Callery both return for Nelson Bay in round six.
Elsewhere on Saturday and the White brothers will face off against each other for the first time with Gosford’s Daniel taking on Terrigal Avoca’s Alexander and Lachlan at Adcock Park, Wyong Lakes meet Killarney Vale, undefeated leaders Cardiff host Lake Macquarie while Newcastle City are at home to Singleton. Maitland has the bye.
Meanwhile, the Black Diamond AFL representative team will be announced after this weekend with a fixture scheduled against Canberra in the nation’s capital next Saturday.
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