Shears aims to give club edge

ORARA Valley Rugby League Club has welcomed back Glenn Soper as president and appointed rugged utility Chris Sheers captain-coach.

Soper had a short break from the executive committee but was keen to return following the resignation of Darryl Fisher who is leaving town due to his employment.

Fisher left an indelible mark at the club as a player, coach and official and is going to be a hard act to follow.

"It was great to have a year off and you tend to find you look at things in a different way," Soper said.

"There is plenty of hard work in running a sporting club but we are a very close group of people and the appointment of Chris to lead the side is a very good move."

Shears finds his latest rugby league challenge "very exciting" but was not ready to make any bold predictions for the 2012 season.

Despite being more than competitive with an inexperienced roster, the first-grade team finished at the bottom of the table in 2011 with one victory and two draws among a string of unlucky defeats.

A further indication that the club's golden era has come to an end is the announced retirements of Paul Tomlinson, the Lacey brothers, Grant Douglass and Sam Gilchrist.

"Because I work with Tommo, I'm on to him all the time about having one more year but he reckons the end has come," Shears said.

"Maybe one or two of the other boys may change their minds but we'll see what happens when the season actually arrives and they realise they aren't part of it the way they used to be.

"At this stage, no pick-ups are confirmed but we're still a fair way from kick-off."

Easily the most versatile player in Group 2 for many years and able to play anywhere from fullback to hooker, Shears wasn't ready to nominate a preference for a particular position.

"Until the team settles down I'll play wherever it's required with everything depending on the talent available," he said.

"We had some young fellas last time that learned a lot from playing regular first grade and my aim is to build the team around them and work our way upward."

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