Bring it on, say Crocs
Cooper’s new team set to show what they can do
BRAD Cooper knows this feeling.
As the coach of the high flying Port Douglas Crocs he’s been here before – the lengthy pre-season, with all the hard yakka of rebuilding the team, recruiting new players, finding them jobs, settling them in . . .
Now the season is starting and the time for talking – on the phone – is over and it’s down to the real business.
“It’s the best part of the year. You’re off the phone and Port Douglas Crocs vs Manunda Hawks, Saturday, April 2 (away game). Seniors: 5 pm Reserves: 3 pm the majority of the real hard work is done, all that time consuming work, not just for the coach but the volunteers and the committee . . . “Now it’s the business end.” Starting this weekend is the first rostered game, notably perhaps, against the Manunda Hawks, the team that aroused such controversy in 2014 for their forfeited game against the Crocs that they were punished by a year’s ejection from the league.
“There’s no anger from us about that,” says Cooper. “We never wanted them kicked out of the competition – we thought it weakened the comp – but having said that, you can understand that I can understand no one can just dictate to the league where and when they play.
“They’ll be a completely different team and I’d they’ll have people making decisions at their club that aren’t going to put them back in the position they found themselves in, so …
Not for the first time, the Crocs will field at least half a new team – that’s how it is for far northern towns, especially Port Douglas with its highly transient population.
“It’s going to take them a period of time to adjust to our game plan,” Cooper said, “it’s just a matter of working to get to that point as soon as we can.
“As I said to them just now, we have to grow with every training session, every game.”
In training this week Cooper spoke to the team about commitment, behaviour and club culture. “There building blocks you have to pout in place for any team,” he tells the
“It’s the same for any team, whatever sport it is.”
As it happens, the recruiting process has turned up a couple of extra tall players for the squad this year, which is definitely a plus and gives Cooper more options.
“We do have very healthy stock to put pressure on through our spine – our taller guys, so good position for us to be in.”
Port Douglas Crocs squad 2016