BEHIND THE SPORTS DESK: Where there's a Wicks, there's a way
After the re-signing of former NRL star Danny Wicks to captain-coach the Grafton Ghosts again in 2017, we ask does this mean the Ghosts already have one hand on a back-to-back Clayton Cup?
MOOSE: Wicks is not the only ingredient to winning the Cup
THERE is no doubting Danny Wicks' ability to play football, motivate a team around him and take a side to glory.
But one man cannot make an entire side.
While much was made of Wicks' leadership of the Grafton Ghosts last season, little was made of the influence of his right-hand man and five-eighth Clint Greenshields.
And the efforts of the ranging Ben McLennan, who had one of his best seasons in the blue and white in 2017.
Both of those players have made it clear they will not return to the field in 2018, and that will put a major dent in the side's chances of completing back-to-back Clayton Cup seasons.
The Ghosts had easily the most lethal backline in Group 2 last season but that was all led from the experience of Greenshields in the middle of the park. Without him will they be as lethal in attack?
One of the best fullbacks to pull on the Ghosts number one jersey, Mitch Lollback has also not confirmed his movements for 2018 and that will worry the club.
They will be dominant, there is no doubting that, but whether they have enough to be crowned the "Best in the Bush" for a second year in a row is really yet to be seen.
South Grafton Rebels report they are in the best position they have been in at this stage for a number of years and will be out to make sure the Ghosts don't do it again.
POTTSY: With Wicks, the Ghosts can win anything.
LAST year, the Grafton Ghosts laid to waste all that stood before them, and their captain-coach Danny Wicks was a large part of their dominance in the Group 2 competition and Clayton Cup win.
The scary part is that it was just his first season with the club since his return from the NRL.
Some players may be hanging up the boots for next season, and I can't deny the influence Clint Greenshields and Ben McLennan had on the team, however, with Wicks still in the team those losses can be compensated for.
What can't be underestimated is how good a footballer Wicks is. Watching from the sidelines for many of the Ghosts' games last year, I am firmly of the belief that his NRL experience gives him the skills and ability to dominate the Group 2 competition.
On the field, his strength and ball-playing abilities for a hard-running back rower make him almost impossible to stop, especially close to the line.
At training, if he is organising and running plays that would catch out NRL-level defence structures, they're going to be successful against many Group 2 defenders
He also helps lift those players around him.
I think the Ghosts will only get better with another season of Wicks at the helm, which is a dangerous prospect to not only the Group 2 competition but any other team hoping to get their hands on the Clayton Cup.