Rep break boost for Panthers


SAWTELL'S bid to land the elusive Group 2 premiership has received a big shot in the arm, with captain-coach Craig Wallace pulling the pin on representative football.

Wallace, who last year vowed to lead Sawtell out of its 27-year first grade premiership drought before his time at the club ended, did not make himself available for Group 2 selection this year.

However, he still hopes to coach North Coast in the Country Championships.

"I pretty much decided after the rep stuff last year," Wallace said.

"I was tossing up whether or not to play last year.

"I'm 32 now and there comes a time when you have to slow down."

The former NSW Country prop is hoping the lighter workload will leave him refreshed for Sawtell matches.

"For sure, I'm not going to be backing up or playing with niggling injuries," he said.

"I will certainly be a lot fresher only playing one match a weekend.

"Hopefully I will be able to concentrate more on Sawtell without having the added pressure of Group 2.

"I've had my turn, it's time to let some of the younger blokes step up and prove themselves."

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