Raiders ready to keep rumbling
AFTER a torrid season, some of the Port Douglas Raiders won’t even have a week off.
“Some of the boys are going to line up for the Sharks in the reserves,” coach Shane Branch said.
The rest of the team will take a couple of weeks off before some of them get back into training for an end of year masters’ match.
Branchy said he would definitely be involved with the club in some capacity next season, but he wasn’t sure if that would be as coach or in some other role.
“We’ll have an AGM shortly,” he said.
“Whether I coach next year, that’s another thing.
“If we can get someone else, I won’t mind.
“They’re an easy bunch to coach. We’re not playing for sheep stations.
“Socially, they’re a great bunch of blokes, so it’s been a positive year that way.”
Branchy said player of the year, forward Tim Sladden, had been the stand-out player all season.
“Just all-round, he’s always in amongst it.”
The award for most improved went to Greg Carr-Walker in his first season with the club.
“Greg struggled a bit at first to find his position,” Branchy said.
“About halfway through the season, he said ’I can play hooker if you want me to’ and from then on he played 80 minutes every week in that position, and he improved immensely.
“Adam Calcraft really deserved his award as clubman of the year as well.
“He was great at everything he did on the field before he was injured, and then he was on the committee, helping out on game day. He was a really good liaison between management and the players, and a top bloke.”
Other awards went to Kyle Lemon (best forward), Todd Funch (best back), Sam Westenra (players’ player), Sam Forsyth (golden doctor), Robbie Benton (coaches award) and John Saunders (best trainer).
Looking back over the year, Branchy admitted the season had been a tough one.
“It was a growth year really. We’ve got a lot of young blokes playing for the club at the moment.
“Attracting people is pretty difficult when there aren’t any jobs around.”
(back row l-r)Todd Funch, John Saunders, Sam Westenra, Robbie Princess Benton, Tim Sladden (middle row l-r) Adam Calcraft, Sam Forstyth and Jeff the Maori (front row l-r) Locklan and Rory