Commitment key as Magpies hit the field for the first time
RUGBY LEAGUE: The word on Lower Clarence coach Evan Cochrane's lips is commitment.
It is at the forefront of the new culture he is adopting at the mouth of the river, and today's first trial match of the season against Casino will be a telling factor if the culture is being received by his players.
The club had to pull out of the Hoey Moey Coffs Coast Nines at the last minute earlier this year due to a lack of numbers, and he does not want to revisit that saga.
"I was not impressed that we didn't show, but that's old news now and we as a club are moving forward,” Cochrane said.
"Commitment at the club has been an issue for the past couple of years but that is something we are turning around in 2018.”
Lower Clarence will meet the Cougars in one game of senior football action today that will be played in three 25-minute sections, while the club's ladies league tag side will play the Cougars and Grafton Ghosts in a tri-series.
Lower Clarence will be missing regular first grade stars Ryan Binge and Dan Randall as well as the returning Tom Martin with all three playing in Lower Clarence cricket finals.
"It will be tough without a few of our first graders, but we will still have a squad of about 25 on deck for the day,” Cochrane said. "Hughie Stanley will get his first opportunity to lead the side around the park, and potentially stake his claim to be captain all season.
"We have been working on our structures and set plays since we first got onto the training paddock last year, so it will be good to finally put them into practice in a game sense.
"It is all about putting our best foot forward.”
MAGPIES v COUGARS
Yamba League Field, 2.30pm