Crocs jobs for the boys a win­ner

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - MIKE ED­WARDS

The Port Dou­glas Crocs have pulled off a great coup by not only at­tract­ing 23 new play­ers to the club from all over Australia for this sea­son but also find­ing most of the new ar­rivals jobs de­spite tough eco­nomic times.

With work in Port Dou­glas thin on the ground, the end of last year’s AFL footy sea­son saw an un­prece­dented ex­o­dus of play­ers from the club as some re­tired while many of the younger play­ers headed to the big cities or the mines leav­ing Pres­i­dent Andy Smith and his com­mit­tee with only 22 play­ers and new foot­ball sea­son loom­ing.

“We need a min­i­mum of 50 play­ers to field two teams,” Mr Smith said.

“So at the end of the day we had to re­cruit 23-24 new play­ers from down south and in­ter­state and whereas three or four years ago there was so much work around - now it’s re­ally hard.”

Coach Brad Cooper and the team worked the phones and all their con­tacts to find the new play­ers and roll out the wel­come mat for them set­ting up work, accommodation and even pitch­ing in for some of their travel costs and pro­vid­ing a few ba­sic house­hold ne­ces­si­ties to get them started.

Mr Smith said that the club had at­tracted some ex­cel­lent tal­ent but they had all put in a lot of hard work with new team mem­bers com­ing from as far afield as Ade­laide and even Bun­bury in WA and although al­most ev­ery player could earn more else­where they had come to Port Dou­glas for the life­style.

“We have one new player who is also a pi­lot and has to travel to Cairns for work and an­other two who are con­creters and have had to take work as far away as Mis­sion Beach and Tully, but they have all hit the ground run­ning.”

“I slashed the player bud­get to re­duce the pres­sure on the club and the lo­cal com­mu­nity that sup­port us and we have been work­ing be­hind the scenes with the ju­niors find­ing ap­pren­tice­ships for as many as we can to en­cour­age them to stay in the re­gion and give the club some se­cu­rity.”

De­spite all the hard work the Crocs have found them­selves up against some stiff com­pe­ti­tion so far this sea­son but Mr Smith is ex­pect­ing a good re­sult from next week’s home ground clash against the Ma­nunda Hawks.

“The Cairns based teams have a far greater op­por­tu­nity to at­tract play­ers be­cause they have much wider em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for them,“Mr Smith said.

“So it makes it pretty hard for us to win the games.”

New blood: the new crocs play­ers

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