Experience may be key for Valleys
VALLEYS A grade coach Aaron Earnshaw is banking on an injection of experience to lift his side in this year's CQ Extended and Gladstone Rugby League premierships.
The Diehards have sought to find the perfect mix of experience and youth in the side named to play the Central Comets development squad at Rockhampton's Browne Park on Saturday night.
Earnshaw himself will dust off the boots to line up at hooker while team-mates Brian Pengelly, Mark Richards, Neil Smith, Luke Chapman and David Laing boast an abundance of A grade experience.
With former Toowoomba Clydesdales under-19 representative Travis Ribot and ex-Mackay player Mark Tocco also in the ranks, promising Diehards teenagers Chris Jamieson, Rick Gibson and Doug Cowper will not have to look far for guidance.
Earnshaw was looking forward to seeing how his side gels in Saturday's curtain-raiser to the Central Comets' trial against the Melbourne Storm.
'I think there was not enough experience in the side last year but this year we'll have a good mix of experience and younger guys coming through,' Earnshaw said.
'The young blokes are very fortunate to have that experience around them.'
Earnshaw said the 6pm trial match would provide a valuable indicator of how his side was shaping up for the coming season. "It's a chance to look at the blokes new to the club but also we want to get a good start so that we're ready to go from the first (Extended League) game against Yeppoon (on March 6),' Earnshaw said.
'We're playing 20 minutes quarters and there's ample interchange players so there's every chance to view the players.
'I think, across the board, (the Comets development side's) fitness will be better than ours but our experience is better than theirs.
'I'll be asking our senior players to lead the way.'
1. Rick Gibson, 2. Kris Smith, 3. Luke Chapman, 4. Stephen Cakau, 5. Daniel Ferguson, 6. Brian Pengelly, 7. Chris Jamieson, 8. Scott Lowry, 9. Aaron Earnshaw, 10. Doug Cowper, 11. Mick Richards, 12. Mark Tocco, 13. Travis Ribot, 14. Brad Lawson, 15. Shelden Raw-Raw, 16. Neil Smith, 17. Aaron Rush, 18. David Laing, 19. Noel Harmon, 20. Steven Parks.