Kerrod Selmes welcomes his coaching baptism of fire against the Ghosts.
Kerrod Selmes welcomes his coaching baptism of fire against the Ghosts. Gemima Harvey

Selmes ready for early tough test

INCOMING Coffs Harbour captain-coach Kerrod Selmes is pleased his baptism of fire comes against one of the big guns of the Group 2 Rugby League premiership.

The busy hooker leads the Comets into battle for the first time at Grafton's home ground and agrees that whatever the outcome, both outfits are going to have a clearer indication of what long-term prospects are likely to be.

"It's good to have first crack at blokes who are probably going to be the toughest test we face all year," Selmes said.

"This game will show our progress and while I'm pretty happy with how things went in the pre-season and trials, there's nothing like the real thing to show what your strengths and weaknesses are likely to be."

Selmes said he learned plenty under former mentor Colin Speed but intends to show he's his own man when it comes to tactical leadership.

"This is a new era for all of us and while a lot of the good bits Col taught us won't change, a new line-up means a different approach in some things.

"I've never been in a club more welcoming and that makes it so easy for new players to fit in and reach their peak at an early stage."

The club has a new group in from England and there's one talented junior the coach suggests supporters should keep an eye on.

"Alex Bunt was the stand out in the trials but I'm not about to rush him," he added.

"There's a good crop coming up from the 18s but they still need experience."

ROUND ONE
(All games 2.45pm Sunday)

Woolgoolga v Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo at Woolgoolga Sports Reserve (Referee: Dave Honeybrook)
Macksville v Nambucca Heads at Allen Gillett Oval (Referee: Lenny Duroux)
Grafton v Coffs Harbour at Frank McGuren Field (Referee: Nathan Grace)
South Grafton bye

Deferred to May 1 - Sawtell v Orara Valley



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