Dudley Tuckey Cup: Rams ready to charge into new competition

Expect the Rockingham Rams to be one of the more formidable outfits in the Dudley Tuckey Cup.

After falling short on grand final day in an otherwise sublime 2019 season, the Rams have maintained the bulk of their playing group and with a few handy additions will be looking to make a deep run in the one-off tournament.

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Headlining those additions is the return of Haydn Matthews from Peel Thunder.

The gutsy 23-year-old midfielder returns to his junior club having spent the past few years as a key cog in the WAFL side.

Rocky Collins will remain a key part of Rockingham's midfield. Photo: Justin Rake.

Rocky Collins will remain a key part of Rockingham's midfield. Photo: Justin Rake.

Former South West Football League gun Corey Rota will reunite with ex-South Bunbury teammate Fraser Millar in that same midfield, while Kyle Havelberg returns to the Rams after a stint with East Fremantle in 2019.

The trio will team up with mainstays like reigning Ross Elliott medalist Steve Kenny, Rocky Collins, Zayne Selkirk, Andrew Walsh and Tyler Sutton to form a lethal line-up for the league's most northern club.

But Rockingham hasn't been without its losses throughout the extended off-season, with star midfielder Brad Walsh, Damon Cramer, Luke Dowling and Noah Hura among their notable departures.

"We've lost a few guys, but we're optimistic with the team we're rolling out," Rams coach Scott Franklin said.

"Haydn (Matthews) will be a huge boost for our midfield stocks, and it's just good to see more local Rockingham kids coming back to their junior club."

Franklin expected not much would change within the Rams' game plan from 2019, as his side looks to finally put their grand final loss in the rear view.

"We haven't talked about it much, but I guess we've had to wait a lot longer to get on with it and forget about it than any other club," he laughed.

"The way we play won't deviate much. We've got a few bigger bodies around the ball this year but outside of that we'll just look to build on what we achieved last year."

Albeit a completely different season to what they're used to, Franklin said there was certainly an allure in being crowned the league's only Dudley Tuckey Cup winners.

"It'd be nice to be the only team to ever win one, assuming we go back to our normal season from 2021," he said.

"At the end of the day we're just happy to be playing footy again, but we're definitely playing to win."