ALL HANDS ON DECK: Buccs look to four-man coaching team
RUGBY UNION: The swashbuckling Yamba Buccaneers have made the first steps to reverse their season-long form slump with a complete overhaul in the coaching ranks.
A four-pronged coaching panel will share the weight of expectation in 2017, instead of just the one in 2016 when side won two out of 13 matches in the Far North Coast President's Cup competition.
The Buccaneers are looking toward their old boys for inspiration with former players Adrian Miller, Scott Moore, Leigh 'Tangles' Bushell and Bede Hunt swapping the football boots for the clipboard as they begin their first coaching journey.
Former fullback Miller only returned to the Clarence Valley midway through this year and will come on board as head coach.
The quartet will bring more than 50 years of playing experience to the ranks, but Miller admits there is still a lot to learn in the game.
"Rugby is one of those games that you never stop learning and improving no matter how much you have done," he said. "This will be a learning curve for all of us but it is one we are very excited about."
While the club had struggled to find player numbers in recent seasons, Miller said recruitment drives were already under way and should not pose a problem next season.
"There is no set goal for us," he said. "We just want to put together a team of guys who are excited to play their footy and want to play for the Buccaneers.
"There is no question that everyone who plays for the Buccs respects the jersey and we really want to strengthen that bond between player and club.
"We have a lot of plans and ideas we want to implement but at this stage it is too early to say how we will do that."
The Buccaneers will undergo a few unofficial preseason beach training sessions in the lead-up to Christmas before returning to the paddock in mid-January ahead of a March season start.
Miller grew up on the rugby fields of Adelaide, before playing seasons in Brisbane, Northern Ireland, with the Buccaneers and in Canberra before returning to the Clarence with his young family less than six months ago.
"I am loving being back in the Valley, it is a great place to live, work and raise a family," he said. "We will stick at this job for as long as the club wants us."
The club is still taking interest from any willing players ahead of next season with parties invited to get in touch via the club's Facebook account.