Seahorses coach holds no fear

SEAHORSES coach Greg Shuttleworth has reasons for Woolgoolga’s two early season losses and believes there’s no reason to fear tomorrow’s visit to Rex Hardaker Oval to take on highly-rated Sawtell.

“In country football if you don’t control the ball and complete your sets, you can’t win anything,” he said.

“Both losses showed possession rates hovering around 40 per cent and that’s the main reason we are winless. No need to panic; I have faith in these blokes and actually I am very glad we’re playing the Panthers rather than somebody else.

“Look at the record and culture of this club and you’ll find the side always lifts against quality and they always seem to find their best in adversity.

“Providing we don’t turn over the football, there’ll be big improvement this time.”

Shuttleworth admits the old injury bugbear has struck early this season but predicts the youth of his team allows them to shrug off excess aches and pains.

“Young blokes with ticker will have a crack with an arm or leg missing and I reckon they need this challenge and will thrive on it,” he added.

Despite this the only major changes are some positional swaps meant to strengthen the effectiveness of the backline

Rival Sawtell boss Rohan Loudon boasts a side which isn’t troubled by injury woes and actually is welcoming back centre Nathan Davies and specialist prop forward Jeremy Wood to the squad.

“We made it through the Bellingen visit okay and everything is fine,” he said cheerfully.

“Obviously, I’m taking nothing for granted and expect a big showing from Woopi as in the past couple of years, the two clubs have often saved something special for each


That great rivalry appears to have turned Loudon into something of a Seahorses fan.

“Yes, I’m keen to have a good look at them and really like the way they approach the game of footy,” he said.

“At this time of the year it’s going to be a very good test for us and we’re looking forward to stepping up a notch from last week.”

The comparable match last season proved a nightmare for Loudon when what appeared to be a simple knee injury turned out much worse, leading to surgery and a one-year playing layoff.

While not listed in advance on the playing roster he made a surprise appearance on the bench against the Magpies and in a low-key return to the arena after the break, came through the test with flying colours.

“It was just a short spell and I’m pleased to say I didn’t feel any twinges,” he said.

“In coming games I’ll take my time and build up a little each week and would be fairly happy if they didn’t need me that much until later.”

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