Crocs out for revenge
THE Crocs Reserves team have high hopes of avenging the bitter finals defeats of 2010 and 2011 this weekend when they come up against North Cairns in the Cairns AFL reserves grand final at Cazalys.
Despite the Senior group just falling short in 2013 for a grand final berth, finishing a very credible third for the season, the mostly very young brigade of the Port Douglas team believe this year they are poised for a better assault for the reserve premiership.
‘‘We play against a team in North Cairns which is represented in both grades this grand final, having finished on top of the ladder consecutively at the end of the home and away season and we have a full respect for their capacity to play a solid brand of football,’’ said Reserves coach Lynton Heffer. ‘‘In saying this our boys have risen to every challenging occasion this year and should have the true belief to go all the way.’’
When the team run onto the field on Saturday they will be carrying with them the mem- ory of Ernie Baxter, co-founder of the club with Andy Smith back in 1998, who Heffer said was ‘‘the greatest name associated with this club’’ and passed away this year.
‘‘The reserve grade medal is named after Ernie and personally I have quietly dedicated my own season around his absence since his very, very sad passing. It’ll be reminded to the boys before the game and it would mean so much to many if we can seal the deal this weekend.’’
Lynton Heffer, recently appointed Life Member, and four-time premiership player within the club, had this to say into the lead up to the big game this weekend:
‘‘It’s been a total credit to the entire club to register a contender this grand final weekend. Our senior coach in Brad Cooper, football operations manager Jim Buckley and match committee head honcho Kenny Nyko, along with the tireless committee led by Andy Smith, John Cameron and Rob Barnett have ensured that there’s been a steady flow of quality players pass through the club this year.Their collective effort has been absolutely first class in 2013 and they deserve a big pat on the back.
‘‘Their achievements this year is always a massive task living in our location and not many people recognise that we are the far most northern AFL team on the east coast of Australia which presents many challenges.
‘‘The seniors just fell short of the ultimate goal this year but the flow-on effect of quality players within the club has given the reserve grade a great opportunity to reap back a big reward for our sleepy seaside fishing township. Brad and Jim deserve every accolade for forging a very competitive unit this year. Not only has it been the interstate recruits in 2013 that have assisted the outcome thus far, but it must be emphasised that there is so much local home grown talent amongst this weekend’s grand final squad. We are talking about three U/16 players and seven U/18 players current players almost certain to make final team this weekend.
‘‘Young gun names like Marks, Nandy, Edwards, McCullough, Evans, Forbes, Lauren, Lowe and Bohim have made this a special year for the club for their dedicated progression towards the game is so encouraging.
‘‘This makes our team by a country mile the youngest aggregate aged team in the Cairns competition this weekend and our median age is only topped up by a couple of old stalwarts in Harry Wilkie and Andrew Macleod who have serviced the club with 200 games apiece. No matter the result this weekend there is a lot of credit due to the junior football club led by the legendary former player and now Junior President Rod Davidson and the transitional phase by the senior club to introduce these boys into this next level of their footy careers.’’
‘‘On Monday night at the league presentations Andy Smith was duly awarded Life Membership into the Cairns AFL, the first ever from the our 25-year history and he dedicated his achievement to his best mate in Ernie Baxter.’’