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COMETS BACK MIENI

By MITCHELL DALE

COFFS Harbour Comets president Ian Trengove has heard plenty of rumours surrounding his club this off-season; now he wants to set the record straight.

Trengove last week announced his club has retained its coaching staff from last season, including first grade mentor Scott Mieni.

Trengove says speculation over Mieni's future has been rife since the 2004 competition ended, due to the coach's serious health condition.

Earlier this year, Mieni was diagnosed with the potentially fatal bone marrow disease myelofibrosis, as reported in the Coffs Coast Advocate on April 29.

Last week, the 39-year-old underwent a bone marrow transplant in Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital and Trengove said the early signs were positive Mieni would make a full recovery.

Trengove also said Mieni, the current NSW Country coach, will be at the Comets' first training run of the new year.

"There have been a lot of rumours about Scott not being back on deck next year, but they are not true," Trengove said.

"We all know 'Mo' (Mieni) has had an illness, but he is on the way to recovery. The club has re-signed all coaches for next season and Scott will be at training in mid-January.

"He has already had the bone marrow transplant and the word from the hospital in Sydney is very positive."

Trengove, who will sit in the president's chair for a fourth term, is optimistic about 2005.

"We were the only club in the whole Group to have all three teams in the semi-finals last season, which is a good base to build from," he said.

"We are looking at adding a few players from outside the area and should be able to announce some new signings soon.

"A couple of the players we have spoken to are keen to come over and play under Scott."

While some Comets players are already in training for the Orara Valley international sevens tournament in January, training for the rest of the club will start on December 5 at Park Beach Reserve from 11am.

Training will then take place at Advocate Park every Tuesday before Christmas. Full training will resume on January 11, 2005, at Advocate Park.

Some changes were made to the Comets executive at last week's annual general meeting.

The new committee is: Ian Trengove, president; Neil McAlpine, secretary; Amanda Trengove, treasurer; Robert Caldwell, vice president senior; Nathan Saunders vice president junior; Geoff Bushby, Troy Rawson, Ray Ferrett, George Kudrins, Bevan Moore, Ron Morrison, all committee members.