Roos ready to bounce back
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THE coaching staff at North Coffs are hoping that losing last year's North Coast AFL grand final will give the players a massive reality check for the upcoming 2006 season.
After winning four consecutive titles from 2001 to 2004, the Kangaroos were sent crashing in last year's grand final by a fitter and more determined Sawtell team.
"Losing the grand final last year hopefully has opened up a few of the player's eyes," new coach Darren Funston said.
"There's more hunger there after the disappointment of last year, a lot of the old fellas seem to be a bit hungry again.
"I'm just hoping to continue on from last year, we haven't lost much of our squad, only one or two and we've picked up a couple so we should be thereabouts again."
This is the first time that Funston has had a crack at holding the reins of a senior team but using his experience of being an assistant coach in noted leagues in Victoria has already impressed most at the club since his arrival midway through last season.
"You could notice last year when 'Freddie' got here that his ideas are way in advance of what we've been doing here over the last three or four years," said David Velt who this year will be standing next to Funston in the coaching stakes.
"More importantly all the guys were keen to listen and learn."
North Coffs first step towards a return to premiership glory couldn't be any more relaxed.
The club will be having an afternoon of lawn bowls on this Sunday thanks to the club's new sponsor Park Beach Bowling Club.
Funston will then try and ensure that when full training commences the next day the fun for the playing group will continue even though he promises that there'll be some hard work involved.
"I'm looking forward to getting a good solid base underneath us," he said.
"I think in any brand of footy that you play you try to be the fittest you can be and it just makes it a hell of a lot easier when blokes are still running at the end when maybe a couple of the other sides have stopped.
"With the brand of footy we'll hopefully play this year the fitness is going to be one of the keys in succeeding."