Crocs shake off loss

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - RICHARD KOSER

CROCS se­nior coach Andy Vi­ola didn’t lose any sleep over his side’s one-sided re­sult against last year’s premiers Cairns Saints in the pre­sea­son grand fi­nal on Satur­day.

While a 10-goal spank­ing might not be the best re­sult the Port Dou­glas Crocs could have hoped for, Vi­ola said the fi­nal tally of 2.7 did not re­flect the full po­ten­tial of the team.

“We want to learn from last year,” Vi­ola said this week.

“Last year we got a bit tired and sore to­wards the busi­ness end of the sea­son, so this year some of our se­nior play­ers will have a stag­gered start.

“We also wanted to re­ward some of the younger blokes who have been giv­ing it ev­ery­thing dur­ing the pre-sea­son, who have put their hands up ev­ery week and had a real crack.”

Vi­ola said sev­eral of the younger play­ers had proved them­selves over the pre-sea­son and would be step­ping up to the ma­jor league.

“Ryan Worn, for ex­am­ple, played in the re­serves last year but this year he’ll be a reg­u­lar for the se­niors, I’m sure of it,” he said.

“A cou­ple of the other young guys have done well.”

Vi­ola said the Crocs, who have a bye this week­end, will be much more com­pet­i­tive than their run last week­end in­di­cated.

He said it was im­por­tant to avoid a re­peat of 2010, dur­ing which the Crocs fin­ished the reg­u­lar sea­son un­de­feated only to stum­ble in the fi­nals.

“We’ve stick­ing to our pro­gram, and we’re on sched­ule for where we want to be,” Andy said.

“We’ve got 23 guys on our books who haven’t played yet this sea­son, in­clud­ing a whole bunch of se­niors who watched the game last week.”

“We’ve got six guys ar­riv­ing from Dar­win next week, in­clud­ing a few who played in the Wan­der­ers’ NTFL pre­mier­ship team, and oth­ers who will be in town by mid-April.

“I think we’ll have a lot more depth this year, a lot more speed and skill.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited by what we can achieve this year.”

The Crocs’ first game of the CAFL sea­son kicks off at the Port Dou­glas sports ground next Satur­day, April 2.

Photo by BRETT PAS­COE

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