BENDEMEER Mountain Men kick off their 2014 Group 4 Second Division season with a new coach and a new ladies’ tag side in a big local derby against Kootingal at Bendemeer Oval tomorrow.
Former Bendemeer backrower Jake Reid is the coach this season and he’s looking forward to a kick- off even though he’s unsure of the make-up of his side.
“We’ve got a few new faces,” he said of a side which was knocked out of contention by Dungowan Cowboys in last year’s finals series.
“I do know Harley Milgate will be the five-eighth but just who plays halfback at this stage I’m not sure. We’ve had a few injuries and have some changes.
“The core of the team has trained well and hopefully we’ll come together Saturday.
“We’ve also got a new ladies’ league tag side.”
The Bendemeer ladies face a tough initiation though.
They tackle last year’s inaugural Group 4 Ladies League Tag premiers, the Kootingal Kougarettes.
And the Mountain Men play a Kootingal Roosters side being coached by backrower Nathan Hamlin.
“It should be a tough game up there,” Hamlin said.
“We’re shaping up well too.
“Jordan Sharpe is right to play despite dislocating his knee.
“I thought he’d be out for a while but he’s right and will guide us around the park.”
Sharpe’s left boot will play an important role too although halfback Brett Cloake is out after injuring a hamstring in an oztag match during the week.
Hamlin will play left side backrow and enjoying his dash at captain-coaching.
“I was enjoying it until after the Pepperell Shield,” he said.
“We only had eight at training after that. But I had a chat to the boys and we’ve been getting 20 at each session since.”
He said his mobile pack should provide a good base.
In other matches tomorrow, Boggabri is at at home to Barraba and Walcha Roos host Dungowan Cowboys in a unique day at Captain Cook Park which features their ladies’ league clash as well as the Central North Rugby Union clash between Walcha and Gunnedah Red Devils after the ladies’ league tag starts, proceedings at noon.
G4 Second Division clubs should fax or e-mail their result sheets to The Leader by 7pm Saturday (fax 67667631 or email email@example.com).