Norths Old Boysgo with the Flo

By MITCHELL DALE

THE aging stars of the North Sydney Old Boys squad will be relying on their speed between the ears rather than speed on the ground at this weekend's Orara Valley sevens tournament.

North Sydney legend Greg Florimo, now the club's general manager, admitted most of the Bears were past their use-by dates but said they would use their wealth of experience to get the better of younger opponents.

"It would have been a good side ten years ago, but we're all old buggers now," Florimo said.

"We are going to have to rely on maintaining possession and forcing errors, we'll beat them with guile more than anything else.

"But at this stage, I think our main goal is to come out of it alive and unscathed."

The Bears squad features many of the club's last batch of playing stars and includes former Test stars Florimo, Ben Ikin, Michael Buettner, Billy Moore and ex-Origin players Matt Seers, Tony Hearn and David Hall.

However, Florimo went back to his playing days and produced a neat side step when asked what the Bears' chances would be of claiming the $10,000 winners cheque.

"Our chances of having fun are high, chances of winning games would be medium," he said.

"A couple of us have done a bit of work in preparation, but I know others have done absolutely no work.

"I'd say we will get found out by the younger guys at some stage."

To many Bears fans, Florimo is Mr North Sydney, a local junior who went on to play 285 first grade games and represent Australia in four Tests.

Yesterday he was looking forward to pulling on a Norths jersey once again.

"Yeah definitely, any time I pull on the red and black is a proud moment," he said.

He was also confident the Bears would return from their NRL hiatus in the near future and play out of the Central Coast.

"I would like to think the NRL will re-consider expansion sooner rather than later," he said.

"I would like to see Gold Coast, Central Coast and Wellington all included to round it out to an 18-team competition because I think there is room for us all.

"But that is up to the League."

With David Gallop in town for last night's Men of League dinner and the Sevens tournament, Florimo hinted he might use the opportunity to have a word in the ear of the NRL supremo.

"I might be able to grab him in a headlock and see what we can come up with," he laughed.

"But if I get the chance to have a chat with him, I certainly will."

The Bears will play in Group F against Nambucca, South Grafton and Auburn.



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