Born leader back in fold
AFTER the year of success that the Grafton Ghosts have enjoyed, having Ryan Farrell stay on as captain-coach next season is probably just a formality to most onlookers.
Farrell, 26, has played a massive part in the Ghosts' continued success after taking on the top job from Col Speed after last year's premiership win.
But it is not just the first-grade side which is benefiting from having him at the helm, and the club is quick to point out how much influence Farrell has had on his troops.
"Ryan is a natural leader and has the respect of all the players and committe, and all the supporters of the club too," Ghosts' president Neil Payne said.
"We are all very impressed with his first year as coach and you only have to look at the results to see that it was a no brainer to sign him up for another year.
"He certainly puts his heart and soul into it."
Farrell was quick to downplay his role in the success of the club, which has already wrapped up the NRRRL club championship and reserve grade minor premiership leading into tomorrow's final round against Lower Clarence Magpies at Frank McGuren.
"It's an exciting time to be involved at the club," Farrell said. "Obviously our first-grade side is very strong but the depth of young talent coming through is quite amazing.
"Reserves and the under-18s are flying and our 16's side is so strong that they struggle to get a match most weeks because the other clubs forfeit their games.
"I'd like to thank the club for putting their faith in me and also all the committee members who put in all the hard yards behind the scenes to make the club what it is."
Not only does Farrell have a massive influence around the ruck in first grade, but on the training paddock he has the ear of all his players and has managed to build momentum since taking on the coach's role.
"Ryan has certainly impressed a lot of people in his first year as coach and I don't know that there has been anyone locally who has enjoyed that success so immediately," Payne said.
"When he played as a Ghost in the under-18s he said he'd come back one day and win a premiership with first grade. He's done that as a player and we hope he can do it as a coach this year too."