2020 Shute Shield Season Review: Southern Districts
Under new coach Todd Louden, a young and new look Southern Districts started the 2020 season in style, stunning eventual grand finalists Eastwood in round one.
The Rebels were in the mix for most of the season, but a horrific injury toll eventually caught up with them. While 2020 didn't quite pan out as first planned at Forshaw, Souths are already looking ahead excitedly to 2021.
Overview with Todd Louden:
“It’s a great club with a lot of really great people but unfortunately this year we just didn’t have enough critical depth in key positions. By the end of the year, we were still able to field all teams, but as a very young group we struggled with the intensity of the competition,” Louden told Rugby News.
“When we started our preseason before COVID, there was quite a bit we needed to evolve in terms of how the group trained and in some of the performance habits. We very much changed the way we looked, how we prepared and how we played and I think the players just naturally ripped in and really enjoyed that experience.
“We were in a really good position before COVID but then turning around and getting ready to play with only 2-3 weeks of contact work, that was a challenge for all teams but particularly for our young group.
“We started the season pretty well but by the end we had literally run out of bodies. By the end of the year, we had 32 season ending injuries and three career ending injuries.
“Those career ending injuries were local juniors and really important and vocal members of the group - our captain Marcus Carbone, Harry McClennan and Sam Harris.
“Despite all of that, I thought the boys showed a great deal of resilience when the odds were stacked against them in many ways. We had a core group of players who just kept turning up, trying their guts out and competing all the way.