New coach plans a season to remember at Coramba Coliseum
THE cheers have been few and far between at Coramba Coliseum since Orara Valley won the 2008 Group 2 title but the appointment of coach Kevin Neighbour is about to change that.
Neighbour arrives from England where he was in charge of Gateshead Thunder, via New Zealand where he spent 2014 as assistant coach to Rohan Smith at New Zealand Warriors.
The 250-game veteran retired at the end of the 2010 season but had already experienced Australia bush league with a season at Shellharbour Sharks in 2007.
"I enjoyed my time in New Zealand and have brought many great ideas back with me to introduce to the Axemen players," Neighbour said.
"The goal is to field competitive teams for all three grades every week.
"Also I want to continue the family atmosphere Orara is famous for by incorporating the young Tomahawks more often to create a stronger bond between the juniors and seniors."
Neighbour's coaching and playing pedigree extends to the English Superleague.
That included work with top coaches Craig Sandercock and Chris Chester at Hull Kingston Rovers during a partnership involving Gateshead.
"As a coach part of the philosophy is being approachable and understanding but this also means having high expectations of the players.
"I take a holistic approach to developing all players and staff who work with the club.
"Dedicating time to setting out plans and goals which provide long term development for both the team and individuals is something I believe is now coming to fruition."