Players flock to join 2006 Seagull squad
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
KEEPING a spot in the Tannum Sands A grade forward pack may be one of the hardest gigs in town when the 2006 rugby league season rolls around.
Although club officials were yesterday keeping tight on a number of the club's signings, promising some exciting news ahead, it was revealed that a number of well-credentialled forwards will arrive at the Seagulls' Dennis Park nest.
Linking with the Seagulls for the 2006 season will be back-rower Justin Wallace, who boasts experience in the Atherton and the NSW Riverina areas, former Newcastle and South Sydney lower grade prop Jack Jeffery and former Bundaberg Brothers second-rower Andrew Cook.
Former Wide Bay representative back-rower Andrew Preston and last season's Valleys A grade coach and hooker Aaron Earnshaw are also helping the Seagulls take flight.
While new coach Brett Horsnell is excited about the signings, he is also keen to give last year's troops, many of who played in two grades on match days, first go at securing first grade spots.
'If I'd played all year and didn't win a game, and been playing with 10 players, and next year the cream of players was coming to the top, I'd want to play in the winning team,' Horsnell said yesterday.
'They'll be given first crack at an A grade spot. I'm (also) trying to bring some professionalism to the club by bringing in some discipline and we're bringing in a few players to help us get into that position. But we haven't sacrificed anyone who did the hard yards last year.'
Horsnell said numbers would be further boosted by the return of several Seagulls regulars of the past who elected not to play last season.
With players of the calibre of utility back Steve Surtees, backrower Luke Clow and young props Adam Marxsen and Brendan Rea returning after enduring last year's hardships, filling teams should not be a problem for Horsnell.