THE WEE Waa Panthers have a new coach and some new players for the 2013 Group 4 season, but they are all familiar faces.
The Panthers played a trial against Boggabri on Saturday and it was a chance for former Narrabri coach Adrian Sunderland to get a look at his new team.
He has taken fullback Scott Spencer and halves Peter Wenner and Dave Cruickshank with him to Cook Oval, though the latter two were Wee Waa players of old.
“Scotty is probably the only one that has come out,” Sunderland said.
“Pete and Dave Cruickshank are Wee Waa blokes and they’re coming back out, which is good.
“It adds pressure for those positions.”
With Wee Waa regulars like Lindsey Pawley, new club president Kenny Anderson and Matt Freeman and a few former players returning to the club, the Panthers are building a good squad.
Sunderland said numbers were good as well.
“It’s been pretty positive,” Sunderland said.
“Our numbers have been good.
“We’ll definitely have two sides and we’ve been to the school to see the kids about the under 16s to show them we haven’t forgotten about them.”
It is unlikely that the Panthers will field an under 16s but the club has been trying to put a side together in that age group.
Wee Waa faces North Tamworth in the first round of the competition, which is still more than six weeks away.
But once it begins the coach doesn’t have to wait long to have a crack at his old side.
The Panthers host the Blues in the first derby of the year in week two.
“There’s some blokes I’d like to rub the salt into there,” Sunderland said.
“But there’s blokes there I get on with well too.
Sunderland said the two clubs might be bitter rivals but it is built on familiarity.
They all grow up playing together at junior level before entering the senior ranks.
Before the season starts the Panthers will have a preview with North when they meet in a four-way tournament at Jack Woolaston Oval in two weeks.
Sunderland said he was happy to give the returning Boggabri Kangaroos a hit-out on Saturday and the Panthers will also play in the Wests Knockout to complete their preparations for the