Hawks prepare for big season
THEY may not have a clue when their season will start, but Gin Gin Hawks players are preparing for what they hope is another successful season.
Ideally, the boys would like to go one or two better than last year, after injuries ripped the side apart as the finals dawned.
Their last game of 2014 ended in misery, as the hospital ward-like Hawks changing room showed.
Gin Gin were pumped 72-12 in the Northern Districts Rugby League preliminary final, but the 14 available players left nothing in the tank.
With a new year comes a new season and fresh optimism, and player-coach Shane Blair is desperate to avoid a similar situation to 2014.
“Obviously we want to avoid that and get to the final,” Blair said.
“We barely got nine players to games as injuries let us down.”
The pain of missing a grand final after finishing minor premiers is easy to see but hard to overcome.
Whether that serves as extra motivation to the Hawks when they take the field is yet to be seen, but for now the lads are focused on preparation.
Tuesday night’s turnout of only four players is misleading to judge the club given the conditions.
Blair said the team was getting “about 16 players” to training sessions, and the club was in the market for more. “There’s still a few guys we’ve got to get signed up,” Blair said. “Nobody really knows who’s playing at the moment.
“I’d say we’ve had about 50% of the guys from last year come back.”
Blair said the club’s plan was to wrest the NDRL premiership from South Kolan’s hands, and he believed they could have the players to do it once the season kicks off.
“Provided we keep everyone on the field we should go close,” Blair said.
“We should have everyone here soon, so we’ll get there.”
Blair said he would remain player-coach, with a decision on captaincy to be made much closer to round one.
READY TO ROLL: Gin Gin Hawks player-coach Shane Blair is realistic about his side’s chances this NDRL season.