John Cross has re-signed as captain-coach for the 2006 season.
John Cross has re-signed as captain-coach for the 2006 season.

Seahorses retain key players

By BRAD GREENSHIELDS

ALL the Woolgoolga players might be concentrating on this Sunday's Group 2 Rugby League do or die final against Orara Valley but the club's administration is already looking towards 2006.

Captain-coach John Cross and five-eighth Arthur Murray recently signed on the dotted line for next year as the Seahorses try to ensure that this season isn't a flash in the pan.

President Chris Hughes couldn't hide his excitement yesterday when asked about the signings.

"We're rapt," was how Hughes easily summed up the the feelings of everyone at the club.

"We're on the verge of getting the others now.

"Blokes like Lee Harvey and Dave Toomey we'll start talking to them this week.

"We're hoping to keep the nucleus of this year's team for next year.

Woolgoolga has also received interest from players outside of Group 2 willing to join up in 2006.

"Signing 'Crossy' is great because he's really turned the place around this year," the president added.

"Hopefully we can get rid of the easy beat tag for a while."

Cross has agreed to take on the coaching role again backing up his early season statement that he is looking at a long term view for the football club.

"I think we've had more success this year than what we expected but we need to look at it with a long term view and make sure we keep it going," Cross said.

"It's a matter of making sure that we leave the club in a strong position when I've finally had enough."

Arthur Murray's negotiations took a couple of weeks to work out but he says that the club was never in any real danger of losing his services.

"I was always going to stay here, it would be pretty hard for anyone to change my mind," Murray said.

"I think it will take me a while to move away now, I like it here."

The five-eighth may be happy in his environment but he's loving the club and he says that's what made his decision to stay so easy.

He only hopes that having Cross and himself re-sign for 2006 helps the club.

"It's very exciting, especially after how this year's gone," he added.

"Hopefully this can help to attract a couple more players to the club."



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