Sharks coach aims high
NEW Mossman Sharks coach Trevor Cobb is a man on a mission to turnaround the fortunes of the Cairns District Rugby League’s perennial wooden spooners.
Some might call it “Mission Impossible” but Cobbs is determined to make a difference to the club in which he first made his mark as a promising junior and devastating player who three times earned best and fairest for the Sharks in the late 1980s.
Cobbs now hopes to instill the pride and hunger he felt when wearing the Sharks jersey which he says he never lost despite going on to play representative football in Mt Isa for more than a decade.
About 30 players have already started training and working out in the gym to prepare for the 2011 season with trial games scheduled to start in late February.
The club believes more will sign on once they realise the changes being made by the new coach backed by a committee determined to put the pain and embarrassment of past few seasons behind them.
Cobb’s achievements as a player and as a level 2 accredited coach have prepared him for the tough assignment ahead.
“In Mt Isa, I spent seven years playing for the ’Townies’, they were the money club of the local competition and won the premiership every year,” he said.
“Then I moved across to the Black Stars, they were similar to Mossman, getting flogged every game and under me, they went from coming last to one game away from the grand final.
“So I’ve been there before, I got the boys to believe in themselves and I know what it takes to get that winning feeling back in the club.
“If I can get players who turn up to training wanting to improvements themselves on and off the field, I know it will set the club in a position direction.
“It’s not going to happen in one year but by the second year I believe we will make the semi finals and hopefully better than that.”
Cobb has a long-term vision - and it’s not only about winning footy games.
“As a coach, I can make a difference, to get kids training hard, not hanging around on the streets, drinking and being bored because there is no employment,” he said.
“I believe rugby league can make you a better person, not just on the footy field but in life as well.”
Club president Keith Pitt said the positive influence of an accomplished player and coach who was also a local Mossman product was exactly what the Sharks needed to inspire a change of culture.
“As a club, we need to harden up,” Pitt said.
“For too long players have turned up on game day expecting to get a run irrespective of whether or not they had trained during the week.
“Those days are gone. If you don’t train, you don’t play. It’s as simple as that.”
In addition, the Sharks are negotiating with the Northern Pride to secure the services of a contracted player, possibly an exciting new prospect recently signed from Normanton.
“He’s a good strong centre with the ability to slot in at lock or the second row, if needed,” he said.
“We’ve had positive discussions with (Pride head coach) Dave Maiden and he is keen to work with us, including assisting with training and possibly more involvement with our juniors.”
Cobb believes he can also use his networks to lure more players to Mossman to lift the team.
“If we can get a bit more firepower and experience, those players can grab the young fellas by the ears and bring them along too,” he said.
Interested players who want to get on board are welcome to attend training every Tuesday and Thursday, from 6pm to 8pm, at the Mossman showgrounds or contact Keith Pitt on 0439 879 025.