Upbeat Bears to trial on coast

NORTH Tamworth Bears begin their on-field preparations for the new-look 2014 Group 4 season with a trial on the Central Coast tomorrow evening.

The Brad McManus- coached Bears tackle Terrigal in a senior trial, Under 18 Bears coach Matt Walsh said.

“It’s our first trial – we’re  just taking a first grade squad down,”  Walsh said.

“Our numbers have been really good at training. 

“We’re getting 35 to 40 senior players.”

The return of former captain-coach Sean Ferguson is a huge bonus for the Bears.

Walsh said they had also signed a young hooker from Cootamundra.

“He played in their divisional sides down there,” he said of Jacob Prosser.

“He’s going to be very handy for us. Zac Russ has also signed on.”

Russ played for hometown Narrabri last year under his brother Sean Russ.

However the talented centre, who works for the NRL and is based in Tamworth, has elected to cut down his travel and play with a local side.

“Zac’s going to be a big bonus for us out in the centres.

“With Fergo back at lock we’ll have a pretty good backrow, with Marshall Barker and Shane Wadwell in the second row,” Walsh said.

“Sam Jacobsen has also come back from coaching Manilla last year. 

“Nick Dobson is also back.”

However, goalkicking halfback Michael Watton might be missing.

“He’s gone back to play for Coonabarabran (his home town),” Walsh said.

“But they are struggling for numbers out there.”

While the first grade squad heads to Terrigal for an evening trial tomorrow, the club will have three grades playing trials against Greta Branxton at Jack Woolaston Oval next Saturday.

Walsh said the ladies’ League tag side would kick off the trials against the GB Colts at about 1.30pm, followed by a second grade trial and then a first grade trial.

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