Magpies lose Jarrett

THE Magpies have their first trial of the season against Evans Head on Sunday.

That's the good news.

The bad news is they have lost the services of match-winning second-rower George Jarrett.

According to Magpies coach Ricky Binge, Jarrett has signed with the Coffs Harbour Comets for the 2011 season.

“It's bad news for us. George has decided to sign with Coffs for personal reasons and Kayan Davis has also agreed to terms with the Comets,” Binge said.

It's a huge blow for the Magpies with the NRRRL season opener only weeks away.

Jarrett played in the 2009 Lower Clarence premiership winning side and picked up the Magpies Best and Fairest Award.

Although the loss of Jarrett will impact heavily on the Magpies forward depth their off-season recruitment drive has given co-coaches Ricky Binge and Dallas Waters plenty of class players to work with.

“Some of our new recruits like Xavier (Sullivan), Mossy (Joel Moss) and Todd Cameron can't wait to take the field,” Binge said.

“They're actually jumping out of their skin.”

Binge admits Evans Head are an unknown quantity and said the Magpies first hit-out for the season is a chance to work on combinations and test player's fitness levels.

“Trial games are not about winning. They're about seeing what we can get out of it,” he said.

“It's a good chance to see if our fitness levels are on track and if everyone is going to mould together.

“Also we have had good numbers at training and with so many positions up for grabs it's a chance for players to impress and hopefully cement a position for 2011.”

Binge added several players will be also unavailable for Sunday's trial at Evans Head but understands players have commitments early in the season.

“We have a few players away at a musical festival. I suppose it's a good time to let their hair down before things get serious,” Binge said.

“We have another trial next week and a lot of our players will be in the Lower Clarence cricket finals which could be a problem.”

The Magpies travel to Evans Head on Sunday with under-18s starting at 1.30pm followed by seniors.

“The under-18s will kick proceedings off followed by a combined first and reserve grade game which will be played in 20-minute quarters,” Binge said.

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