Dreams of national titles
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
IF YOU want proof of how much the International Stadium turns into it's own little satellite city during the Touch Titles, then you needed to look no further than yesterday's opening ceremony.
The grandstand was filled with players and officials and the captains of each team were paraded in a march past during the tournament's official opening.
A total of 46 players were front and centre as part of the show.
And that's just the captains.
The Under 18s National Touch Titles commenced yesterday under cloudless skies with all players dreams of becoming the national champs at their greatest.
The four day championships will be concluding on Saturday with the Shield and Plate finals followed by the big playoffs commencing at 2:30pm.
Part of the yesterday's opening ceremony was a chat with South Sydney's John Sutton and Joe Williams who are in town now that their duties with Souths have ended after a promising finish to their season.
Both of the NRL stars will stay in Coffs Harbour for the remainder of the championships and yesterday quite happily mingled among the players to have a chat and sign autographs.
Williams, a devoted Touch enthusiast has been a past representative at the titles in Coffs Harbour and admits to having many good memories of his time playing at these championships.
"It's an all round good place," he said.
"It's got a happy vibe about it and it's good to be back in the touch circle again and be a part of it."
The Rabbitoh's half also has grand dreams for the sport and believes that the players in town this week could be rewarded in the near future for their Touch prowess.
"Hopefully in five to ten years time it will be up on a professional level," he explained.
"I really hope so because there's a lot of people behind the scenes who put in a lot of work for it."
Sutton was most impressed with the facilities that the Touch players will be enjoying at the Stadium.
"I like these ovals, back home when we play a muck around it's nowhere near this good," he laughed.
"There are some pretty good fields to play on."