Cronin signs with Ghosts
At last the story can be told.
Despite reports to the contrary, former Sawtell star Dane Cronin won't be playing in Group 2 during the 2007 season after signing up last weekend to captain-coach Grafton Ghosts.
For months, rumour mixed with fact has circulated about the fiery forward's desire to return to local pastures.
So the Coffs Coast Advocate went straight to the horse's mouth (so to speak) to get the truth on the matter after weeks of being sworn to secrecy.
"I thought Group 2 had forgotten all about me," Cronin laughed while settling back into life on the Clarence this week.
But somebody who made such an indelible impression during his spectacular playing and coaching stint at Sawtell is impossible to forget.
"Macleay Valley gave me an interview about taking over from Kurt Hancock and there were discussions with Bellingen and the Panthers," he said.
But it was Woolgoolga who arguably came closest to obtaining Cronin's fearsome talents.
"My girl and I have bought a place just south of Grafton and she's picked up a job in Woopi," he said.
"Playing with the Seahorses looked very attractive and I was very tempted, even though we didn't quite manage to sit down for face-to-face discussions."
The job with the Ghosts came out of the blue.
"They lost their original appointee and called me straight away," Cronin said.
"When I left Sawtell I had a season over the river with the South Grafton Rebels and I like the town, so after talking it over, we accepted.
"There's a lot of talk about amalgamations but I'll be staying out of politics and sticking to what I know best."
Cronin has not ruled out a future return to the local competition.
"Who can read the future?" he asked.
"I enjoyed my time with Sawtell but let's see what happens over the next 12 months."
? GREG WHITE