Gatton Star - - FRONT PAGE - Lach­lan Mcivor lach­lan.mcivor@gat­ton­

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Gat­ton Hawks’ 2017 sea­son came to an abrupt halt af­ter they were knocked off their perch by Souths Tigers in a mid-week sixth spot play-off to nar­rowly miss out on a fi­nals place.

With the ap­point­ment of se­rial win­ner Shaun Hob­son as A-grade coach in 2018, the Hawks are de­ter­mined they won’t suf­fer the same fate next year and will soon be chal­leng­ing for an­other premier­ship.

He led the Chin­chilla Bull­dogs to an un­de­feated premier­ship in 2010, won two ti­tles with Glad­stone Val­leys in the past two years and has only missed two fi­nal se­ries over the past 11 years at a num­ber of dif­fer­ent clubs.

Hob­son be­lieved the pieces for suc­cess were al­ready in place at Gat­ton, it was just about join­ing them to­gether.

“Most im­por­tantly I’m re­ally keen for one-team towns and good small com­mu­ni­ties with good peo­ple and that’s the sort of stuff you can build upon,” Hob­son said.

“My goal is def­i­nitely just to come to­gether as a group, en­joy our­selves more than any­thing and just con­tinue to build on what the Gat­ton has al­ready built be­cause they’re a suc­cess­ful or­gan­i­sa­tion as it is.

“So it’s just about com­ing

❝ It’s just about com­ing in and mar­ry­ing it all up... and be as suc­cess­ful as we can.

— Shaun Hob­son

in and mar­ry­ing it all up and try­ing to have fun and be as suc­cess­ful as we can both on and off the field.”

As a coun­try boy him­self, Hob­son felt he could get the best out of the young squad at his dis­posal.

“I’m led to be­lieve a big ma­jor­ity of last year’s play­ing group are still around which is fan­tas­tic,” he said.

“Young foot­ball play­ers and cer­tainly coun­try boys have got a lot of heart and soul and re­ally want to work hard.”

Josh Belz will re­turn as U18 coach af­ter he took on the role for the first time this year, all while pulling on the boots for the A-grade side.

“We’ve prob­a­bly strug­gled over the last five to 10 years, our U18 sides won two games at the most through­out the year, and last year we were still in the hunt for fi­nals right up un­til the last game so it was re­ally good,” Belz said.

“I was re­ally proud of them, there’s 20 peo­ple in a team and I had con­sis­tently 24 or 25 blokes show­ing up, push­ing each other for a jer­sey.”

He will only re­tain four play­ers from the squad who played un­der him in his first year in the job but was en­cour­aged by the in­ter­est for the new sea­son.

“I’ve al­ready had over 20 peo­ple say they’re keen, for them to tell me that this early in the year it’s a good sign,” he said.


IN PLACE: Gat­ton Hawks U18 coach Josh Belz, pres­i­dent Doug Bea­han and A-grade coach Shaun Hob­son are ready for the 2018 sea­son to roll around.

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