League recruiters seeking edge
THE SILLY season is not quite in full swing but already the three Clarence Valley rugby league clubs – the Rhinos, Ghosts and Magpies – have been busy negotiating with players for next season.
The race is on for clubs to recruit for 2010, with the aim of gaining the ultimate edge to ensure a shot at the premiership.
Current NRRRL premiers, the Lower Clarence Magpies, have announced the signing of Ricky Binge to take over as first grade coach.
Binge is well known and respected throughout the Clarence Valley and said he is looking forward to taking on the role as coach next season.
“I can’t wait for the season to start,” he said.
“Looking at the players we’ve lost and what we hope to gain we should go close to matching last year…but it won’t be easy.”
Binge said the signing of his son Ryan will bolster the forward pack.
“Ryan is a very handy player, although I could be a bit biased. We are down on forward strength at the moment and are looking for a couple of second rowers. We are hoping a couple of juniors will step up to the mark,” Binge said.
Lower Clarence president Garry Anderson said some players have been training for a few weeks but it has not been compulsory.
“We have a lot of young guys interested in staying fit. After the Christmas break we will resume training in late January,” he said.
It will come as no surprise to see Xavier Sullivan continue as the Rhinos’ first grade player/coach. Sullivan did a fantastic job last season and his presence on and off the field will again be a huge plus. Sullivan said the Rhinos have not started training and will wait until after Christmas to run off those extra kilos.
“We will start training on January 12 and hopefully we’ll get a good roll up. I’m confident in getting numbers for seniors but am concerned with the juniors,” he said.
“You see enough young ones walking around the streets…you’d think they would be keen to play football.”
Sullivan said he hoped to retain most players from last year and that they have recruited a couple of players from Fiji.
“We signed two Fijians who are both outside backs. They also played in the World Cup for Fiji,” he said.
“We recently signed Chris Treacy, who played in the Queensland Cup. He is a second-rower or lock, which will add to our forward strength.
Col Speed will once again be in charge of the Grafton Ghosts first grade side, with David Neville (reserve grade) and Warwick Brown (under-18s)
The Ghosts will commence full-on training in late January and according to Speed they will have a strong contingency of players.
“We haven’t lost too many players apart from Adam Elliott and Josh Donohoe who have moved to the Gold Coast,” Speed said. “We have signed Ryan Danvers from the Rhinos and Anthony Don is moving back to Grafton. Ryan appears to have a good work ethic and Anthony is a splendid athlete with plenty of pace.”
Speed indicated that the club will look to some of the younger brigade to push for a spot in first grade next season. “I expect big things from the likes of Sam Hartmann and Nick Bell,” he said.