PREPARED FOR 2019: South Grafton Rebels coach Craig Youngjohns instructs the first grade side in a drill during their final training run before the Group 2 season opener against Woolgoolga.
PREPARED FOR 2019: South Grafton Rebels coach Craig Youngjohns instructs the first grade side in a drill during their final training run before the Group 2 season opener against Woolgoolga. Jarrard Potter

GROUP 2: Rebels shape up strong for a positive 2019

FIRST GRADE: For the South Grafton faithful, the first grade side's exit from the Group 2 season last year just two competition points short of making the finals was a disappointment.

However, new coach Craig Youngjohns doesn't care where the team finished last year or what they did or didn't do. He only cares about their future and the season that's ahead of them.

After a strong pre-season, the team will look to start this year's competition with a win when they travel south to face Woolgoolga in the Harmeet "Hudda" Shetra Memorial Shield.

Youngjohns arrived at South Grafton late last year and set to work building a foundation for the 2019 season.

"We started back at training a bit earlier than previously this year, which was something that we wanted to do to set a culture and get fit for the season coming and I think it's paid off," Youngjohns said.

"We've got a really good bunch of players so we will be competitive. The boys are keen to play.

"I haven't taken too much into account of what happened last year. I'm focused on moving forward. What's happened in the past, I can't change that, so it's all about moving forward."

Youngjohns said his side would have to be on their game to if to earn first round points against Woolgoolga at their homeground.

"(Woolgoolga) will be competitive, so we can't be complacent because it'll be a tough match, but we're all looking forward to getting out there," he said. "We only had two trial matches so we're looking to have a good serious match and that just puts us in good stead to see where we're at in the competition. This will be the first time we'll have a full strength side so we're really looking forward to it."

GAME DAY: South Grafton Rebels take on Woolgoolga Sea Horses at Woolgoolga Sports Ground. Games start from 11am.

REBELS IN 2019

Apr 7: (A) v Woolgoolga

Apr 14: (H) v Macksville

Apr 28: (A) v Coffs Harbour

May 5: (A) v Orara Valley

May 12: (H) v Bellingen

May 19: (A) v Sawtell

May 26: (H) v Grafton

Jun 2: (H) v Woolgoolga

Jun 16: (A) v Macksville

Jun 23: (H) v Coffs Harbour

Jun 30: (H) v Orara Valley

Jul 7: (A) v Bellingen

Jul 14: (H) v Sawtell

Jul 21: (A) v Grafton Ghosts

Jul 27-18: Elimination/ qualifying finals

Aug 3-4: Minor/major finals

Aug 11: Preliminary final

Aug 18: Grand final



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