Players dig deep during the beach sprints section of the Lower Clarence Magpies pre-season training session at Brooms Head.
Players dig deep during the beach sprints section of the Lower Clarence Magpies pre-season training session at Brooms Head. Belinda Martyn

Magpies begin rebuilding with beach session

RUGBY LEAGUE: The first blocks in the rebuild of the Lower Clarence Magpies were laid this week as the club galvanised under the hot sun at Brooms Head beach.

The club kick-started its pre-season on Sunday with players taking to the sand of the small coastal village.

It was a positive start to the season according to club president John Elisaia, with more than 25 players turning up for the gruelling session.

"There were a few new faces in the group, and the best thing for the club was that the two senior grades outweighed the under-18s at a training session for the first time in 20 months,” he said.

"We obviously can't get too far ahead of ourselves. There is still a long way to go, and we have been in this position before, but the early signs are really promising.”

LAYING A FOUNDATION: Lower Clarence Magpies senior player Grant Brown leads the club in its first pre-season training session on Brooms Head Beach earlier this week. INSET: Players dig deep during the beach sprints.
LAYING A FOUNDATION: Lower Clarence Magpies senior player Grant Brown leads the club in its first pre-season training session on Brooms Head Beach earlier this week. INSET: Players dig deep during the beach sprints. Belinda Martyn

The players were split up into two groups, with one half working on defensive circuits and sprints with Elisaia, while the other was taken by strength and conditioning specialist Terry Barnes to run the sand dunes before the two swapped over.

"Terry was really impressed with the way the boys put in on the dunes, and even more so with the second group,” Elisaia said. "After it had all been chopped up he gave them the option to cut back the run, but they refused to do less.”

The efforts at Brooms Head were backed up at Yamba League Field on Tuesday night when 40 players across all four grades showed up for action.

Elisaia admitted the club had faced an uphill battle to get on the field this season, and said it had only been made worse as rumours of the club folding spread during the off-season.

"We are out here to prove those rumours wrong,” he said. "It is only baby steps for now, but we need to show these players the committee is here to work with them and then they will be willing to put in for the committee.”



DOLLAR DEAL: Farming property bidding to start at $1

premium_icon DOLLAR DEAL: Farming property bidding to start at $1

Grafton farm will definitely take a dollar bid

Rape trial begins in Grafton District Court

premium_icon Rape trial begins in Grafton District Court

Accused allegedly began groom stepdaughter when she was 14

New doctor gets back to her roots

premium_icon New doctor gets back to her roots

The budding GP is excited to be back on home turf