Group 2 coach Speed says follow the NSW Blues training lead
COFFS Comets and Group 2 rep coach Col Speed has urged local rugby league authorities to follow the lead of the NSW State of Origin side which has prepared for the series in Coffs Harbour.
The use of the Pacific Bay Novotel has proven a winning formula in 2014.
After the Blues used the state of the art facility in the lead up to game one, coach Laurie Daley was so impressed he insisted the team return despite original plans to train in Sydney.
Speed attended a luncheon at the resort and met Daley for the first time.
A highly respected mentor in his own right, Speed said he put forward a proposal earlier this year for the Group 2 team to use the same facility in its own preparations for representative matches.
"It's a fantastic facility and has become a popular location for sporting teams away from the hustle bustle and distractions on offer in Sydney," Speed said.
"It is a hidden treasure in our location.
"Using facilities like this for our representative teams would be a step in the right direction.
"I proposed a preseason camp there this year and it didn't get off first base."
Speed said using the top notch facilities would be a step in the right direction to make achieving representative honours more prestigious.
"Not all the best players make themselves available which is frustrating," he said.
"Something is lacking at Group level.
"There needs to be more motivation for players to represent their area.
"It is phenomenal what a country rep player gives up to play.
"He could lose two days' wages - up to $500 - and at the end of the day might get to keep a jersey for his efforts.
"They should be decked out.
"It's the next level up, they deserve it.
"At the moment club football is probably more professional than Group footy."