Raiders ready to keep rum­bling

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

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

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