Woolgoolga coach Greg Shuttleworth, kneeling, helps Chris Seymour and Clark Webb prepare for the club’s annual golf day.
Woolgoolga coach Greg Shuttleworth, kneeling, helps Chris Seymour and Clark Webb prepare for the club’s annual golf day. Leigh Jensen

Seahorses sign Blues forward

WOOLGOOLGA Seahorses don't buy duds when they import players.

From Dennis Crossley in the 1980s to Murray, Sullivan and Toshack in recent seasons, their recruitment of fresh faces has been first class.

So the introduction into VB Gold Group 2 ranks next season of celebrated Southern Division front-rower Anthony Coyle is going to be one of the early highlights of 2011.

So respected is the former Kiwi player in Group Nine territory that his departure from Tumut Blues has been described in the local press as “the biggest upheaval of the off-season”.

“I just decided I wanted a change and Woolgoolga seemed the right place,” Coyle said.

Incoming Seahorses coach Greg Shuttleworth said Coyle's arrival would be a major boost for Woolgoolga.

“Make no mistake, this bloke can play,” Shuttleworth said.

“Add him to a list of players including Clark Webb who's moved across from Orara Valley and our build-up for next year is looking pretty good.”

The Seahorses are said to have been wooing Coyle for more than a year but it wasn't until recently that he finally decided North Coast sunshine held more attraction than Snowy Mountains chill during the winter months.

Coyle starred in Tumut's premiership triumph over Junee just two months ago, his fourth title with the club since arriving in Australia as a rookie 19-year-old for the 2003 season.

He also spent one season at Yass.

With reserve grade coach Lee Harvey deciding on another season, the Seahorses' up-front strength is looking increasingly formidable.

To complete coaching appointments, Webb's father Alex has joined the club and will assist club legend Lance Randall with the under-18s.

Shuttleworth will conduct the first official training session tomorrow from 6pm at the Surf Club.

“To get us underway we'll train every Tuesday and Thursday night until further notice,” he said.

“We're still on the lookout for players so if there's anyone new in town looking for a run with a great club, come and see us at any session.”

The Seahorses have pencilled in the Group 2 Sevens Knockout on February 19 as their introduction to the 2011 competition.

The sevens matches will form the curtain-raiser to the NRL pre-season clash between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Gold Coast Titans.

Official trials will then feature matches against Coffs Harbour at Advocate Park on March 20 before Orara Valley pay a visit to the Sports Reserve the following weekend.

Further trials are still to be determined.

Meanwhile, the club will host their third annual golf day and Christmas party next Sunday.

Contact assistant coach Darren Leaney on 0411 711 251 or at darren.leaney@etcltd.com.au for bookings.

“There are many prizes to be won, you don't have to be a keen golfer to play and there'll be a few laughs, of course,” he said.

Cost is $80 for a team of four in a 9-hole Ambrose event which includes a BBQ lunch after the game.

The Woolgoolga RSL Golf Club at Safety Beach will host the event with presentations at the Seaview Tavern from about 1pm.

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