Crocs launch sea­son

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - RICHARD KOSER

PORT Dou­glas Crocs coach Andy Vi­ola is con­fi­dent the lo­cal AFL team has learned a lot from their “oh so close” 2010 sea­son.

In his sec­ond year back coach­ing the Crocs, Vi­ola wants to see the team con­tinue to im­prove through the year.

“We prob­a­bly peaked a bit too early,” he said.

“That’s some­thing we’ve ad­dressed, as a club and as a play­ing group.

“We’re not su­per-fit but we’re not un­der-done ei­ther.

“We’re where we should be for this time of year, and we’ve still got a lot of tal­ent com­ing back into the team.”

Around half of the Crocs’ top 22 have not re­turned for the start of the sea­son, but Mr Vi­ola said the cur­rent play­ers would be good enough to knock over their first-round op­po­nents South Cairns.

“Souths strug­gled a bit last year, but they’ve picked up some qual­ity play­ers in the off­sea­son,” he said.

“I still think we’ve got the team to match them.

“We’ll be bring­ing up four or five guys who played in the re­serves last year.”

Vi­ola said he ex­pected the “usual sus­pects” in Evan Hock­ing, Daniel Smith and Sammy Box­hall would lead from the front.

“We’re play­ing for a bit of pride af­ter last year,” he said.

Mr Vi­ola said the 2011 out­fit might have a dif­fer­ent style to last year’s.

“I think we’ll be a bit quicker this year,” he said.

“Some of our struc­tures will change to take that into ac­count.

“But we’ve still got a strong spine, with good tar­gets to hit.”

The re­serves game will kick off at the Crocpit at 1pm, with the se­niors’ game start­ing at 3pm.

The club will have its of­fi­cial jumper pre­sen­ta­tion, and an­nounce the lead­er­ship group, at the Port Dou­glas sports ground at 6.30pm on Thurs­day.

“We’d like to see our spon­sors and sup­port­ers down there,” Vi­ola said.

The Crocs will also host a sup­port­ers’ party at the Crocpit af­ter the game on Satur­day and ev­ery­one is in­vited and en­cour­aged to dress up for the Hawai­ian theme.

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