NO need to call “The Ghostbusters” but the Ghosts are back.
After only playing third grade last season Guyra will field a first grade side in the New England competition this season.
They’ll join UNE Barbarians, St Alberts, Robb College and Armidale in what will be a five-team competition.
The Ghosts will also be back to defend their third grade title.
Their revival is great news for the zone and will add more fluency to the competition. Last year it was very stop-start with only the four teams.
But there is a still a lot of work to do, as there is for the Ghosts.
They’ve done a lot of work in the off-season to try and recruit players, vice-president Rob Lenehan said, and have managed to snare a few new signatures.
“We’re in the position where we’ve had to import some players as a stop-gap measure.”
They have a group of Fijians arriving this week, and are also hoping to have a few of the Tongans employees at the tomato farm on board.
Lenehan acknowledged it’s not an ideal long-term solution, but it will allow them to make good on the commitment they made to play in first grade.
“We’re struggling to get numbers locally being so close to Armidale and Glen Innes to the north,” he said.
Even the league team folding hasn’t helped that much. They’ve probably only picked up a couple of players at the moment, although they haven’t actively pursued
“We don’t want to be seen to be encroaching too much,” Lenehan said.
They’ve been in the same
There’s no long-term solution in that either. It’s a bit like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
But for now every bit helps, and Lenehan said the players that have so far come across were “pretty high in quality”.
That’s what the Ghosts need. Last season it wasn’t a player shortage that was so much the issue.
It was more they didn’t have the quality to be competitive in first grade.
“One day we ran 32 players,” Lenehan said.
The nucleus of last year’s side is returning, he said.
They are training Tuesdays and Thursdays and will be holding a pre-season get together three-person ambrose at the Guyra Golf Club next Sunday (March 24).