With GREG WHITE
THE off season blood-letting forms only part of the picture why Coffs Harbour suddenly find themselves on a roll.
Some great players have worn Comets colours over the years but this hasn't always translated into a successful outcome.
Coffs are a bit like the Mustangs.
The clean-out of veterans took too long and while those old stagers hung about, progress stagnated.
Players don't need a 30th birthday to reach their use by date at certain clubs.
You can be in your early twenties when the time comes to move on, and many don't, when they should.
It's all about coachability.
Once a player gets set in his ways and listens more to his mates than his coach his value rapidly drops.
That's been the Comets' biggest on-field problem since the celebrated year of 1985.
'Mo' Mieni still has a handful of veterans in Pellagrino, Morgan and Boynes, but they're not thinking like old hardheads.
Despite the good and bad times each has experienced, despite the turnover of coaches with different expectations and methods each one is still keeping an open mind Mieni can teach them something fresh and exciting.
It builds confidence in their coach and themselves and quickly rubs off onto their less experienced team mates who grow in stature every week.
Right across Group 2 the veteran players are still calling the shots but look at them closely, and you'll see a different style to how they played the game a decade ago.
They play with heads more than their hands and feet.
Quite a few of them are still short of 30.
The Comets will continue to go places while their veterans remain coachable.
Introducing new blood in Henry Dunn and Bert Gray puts the icing on the cake.
The inexperienced players suddenly learn at twice the speed they once would have.
All the old arrogance goes to be replaced with confidence, some of the battling clubs should take note.