Magpies plan to throw the ball around in 2006
By GREG WHITE
BELLINGER Valley-Dorrigo's new secretary Russell Fensom is promising more flair from the Magpies in the 2006 rugby league season.
"We've learned a lot over the lean years since winning the 1999 premiership," the former leading referee and coach said.
"There were times we fell into the trap of playing 1985-style football when everyone else was throwing the ball around.
"Using forward power won us a string of titles 20 years ago, but times have changed."
Fensom predicts a new kind of excitement from his club this year with incoming coach Mark Davidson just the man to light the way.
"Mark is a realist," Fensom said.
"You need that, otherwise confidence drops the first time you hit a hurdle, which inevitably happens."
Davidson told the Coffs Coast Advocate his goals were simple.
"Aim for one more win than your last season to lift confidence, then build on that towards the semis," he said.
Fensom believes that's exactly the philosophy needed to get the club climbing the premiership ladder.
"Plus some added extras, like signing Geoff Bracken to work on fitness and skills," Fensom said.
"Geoff's worked with top NRL coaches and will provide excellent backup to the coach."
On the subject of backup, the Magpies have appointed Mick Magnay to the reserve grade coaching position while retaining Mick Bellew for under 18's.
"We have attracted two dozen kids already and I know most rival clubs would be jealous at that number," Fensom remarked.
"They know Mick Bellew's record with Bello and know he can be trusted to look after them."
Bellingen-Dorrigo started training on January 24 and are expected to announce new signings later this month, including a rumoured influx from Fiji.
"Word about the club has spread through the islands and we get major interest from there," he said.
"Also, the coach put an advertisement in Herald Online looking for new talent and we got 15 replies.
"I think everyone will be surprised how well we go this season."