Crocs kick off on Saturday
THE new-look Port Douglas Crocs will take on North Cairns in the first round of the CAFL on Saturday.
The Crocs had a comfortable win over Centrals in their final pre-season hit-out last weekend and new coach Brad Cooper is hoping his team can rebuild after the side was decimated with retirements and relocations from last year.
Club veteran Brad Lawlor and new recruit Sam Combridge have been named as co-captains for the Crocs, with youngsters Ben Mccartney and Mitch Nicholson rewarded for their commitment with the co-vicecaptaincy.
“About 80 per cent of our team is new faces,” Cooper said.
“There are about 15 players new to the club and they come from all over Australia.
“We’re looking for all of them to contribute, we haven’t just gone out looking for four or five superstars, we’ve tried to put together a team that can play as a team.”
Combridge comes from the Gippsland league and is considered a tough midfielder who is hard-working and very approachable.
Key position player Lawlor was handed the co-captaincy because of his standing in the club both on and off the field.
“With so many new players in the team, part of the reasoning with giving Sam the co-captaincy role was to demonstrate to all our new guys they are an integral part of our club,” he said.
“We’ve had a big turnover of players this year but we’re looking to be competitive.
“I believe there’s a lot of talent in the group and I’ve never entered a footy season not wanting to play in the finals.”
The Crocs are expecting a couple more new faces from the Darwin league but in the meantime will be looking to make the most of their opportunities.
“North Cairns will be very strong this season so this game will give us a good indication of where we’re at and possibly where we need to get to to compete with the best sides,” Cooper said.
The main game starts at Watsons Oval in Cairns from 3pm on Saturday.
Co Captain: Brad Lawlor