IN FORM: Maclean High's Vinnie Williams throws a pass during The Daily Examiner Shield Opens gala day at Frank McGuren Field.
IN FORM: Maclean High's Vinnie Williams throws a pass during The Daily Examiner Shield Opens gala day at Frank McGuren Field. Matthew Elkerton

Williams brothers sharpen Axemen focus for 2018

RUGBY LEAGUE: Former Maclean High School halfback Vinnie Williams heads a brigade of bright talent ready to build a new era at the Orara Valley Axemen.

Williams will be joined by barnstorming brother and fellow Clarence Coast Magpies junior, Garnett, at the '"Tomahawks” in what has been a major coup for the club.

The Axemen have been the biggest movers and shakers in Group 2 this off season, with more than six players joining the club including East Coast Dolphins representative Luke Beaumont.

For coach Col Speed, it is just the beginning of his five- year plan for the club.

"It is the first time we have had a full off-season to recruit players and we are taking full advantage of it,” he said.

"We had a plan to start with and we targeted the players we wanted.

"The best thing is most of these guys are coming because of what our club is about. They want to buy in to the Axemen culture.”

Williams, who wore the Maclean High number seven during a run of dominant years for the Bats, will likely play five-eighth alongside fellow recruit Buddy Hart from the Coffs Harbour Comets.

Hart returns to the Axemen after a stint with the Comets, and Speed said he was a welcome addition.

"The Hart family name is synonymous with Orara Valley football,” he said. "He is the kind of footballer you can build an entire club around.”

The Axemen have also recruited the services of Group 2 reserve grade leading pointscorer in 2017, Liam Dunn from the Comets, as well as former Tomahawk Dion Marr.

But it is the services of the enigmatic Williams brothers that excites Speed the most for the upcoming season.

"There is a lot of potential in both Garnett and Vincent,” Speed said. "I have a lot of respect for both of them.

After missing out on finals football in 2017, the Axemen are well on the way to bettering that result next season.

The season kicks off in April.



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