Roaring back from the brink

SAM Jacobson will have his first official function as Manilla Tigers captain-coach at the Manilla Golf Club on Saturday.

He and co-coach Don Thrift will have a meet-the-coaches day doubling as a Christmas party with a game of golf.

It is part of a revival for the Tigers after a 2012 season where they were flogged almost every game.

They did well to stay afloat under Don Thrift despite those hidings and the benefit of some sensible rule changes by Group 4 to keep them alive.

It was the plucky commitment by the players and committee to keep going despite the big losses which has enticed former players such as Nathan Leonard back to the club.

Leonard is a new vice-president under president Pat Carlton and he hopes the club’s resurgence starts Saturday with the meet-the-coaches day and golfing Christmas party.

“The Tigers struggled on the paddock in 2012 with a winless season but the fact that the players kept turning up each week along with the continued support of the local community and sponsors is something that the club is extremely proud of,” Leonard told The Leader.

“Sam comes to the club with a great deal of experience behind him having previously played in Western Australia and also in the strong Gold Coast competition prior to last season with the North Tamworth Bears. 

“This will be Sam’s first coaching experience and alongside Don Thrift is looking forward to the challenge of taking the Manilla Tigers into the future. 

“The club is currently speaking to a number of players in regards to the 2013 season but would also welcome anyone else that is interested in playing for the Manilla Tigers.”

Leonard said former Werris Creek prop Neil Constable had also signed on as secretary to help out.

“To be honest, that they kept going and tried to do the right thing by the other clubs influenced me to come back and help out,” Leonard said.

“I didn’t want to see the club fold. My dad (Terry) is a life member and my grandfather too. We’ve been talking to a few players too like Matty Wilson. He’s been down playing in Newcastle, going to uni down there.

“If he does come back he could bring someone like Shae Collins with him but that also depends on work.”

He said a number of former Manilla players were also returning to hopes they can all turn up Saturday and have a chat with Sam Jacobson while having a hit of golf and a few Christmas drinks.

All current, past and intending players along with sponsors and supporters are encouraged to attend for a noon start and barbecue.

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