Trial clash helps Wicks pick top Ghosts
RUGBY LEAGUE: He is not a fan of trial matches, but Grafton Ghosts captain Danny Wicks admits today's clash against Casino Cougars will be a necessary evil for the side.
With almost 100 players registered across the club's four grades, the trial matches at Frank McGuren Field will give Wicks a chance to get a look at who deserves a spot in his first-grade side.
It will also allow the Ghosts an opportunity to trial several combinations while giving the club's diehard fans an early taste of the season.
"To be honest I am not the biggest fan of trials, I don't think we need it, but in this sense with how many blokes we have at the club, it will be a good help when it comes to sorting out sides for the season ahead,” Wicks said.
"We have a reserve grade and first grade technically playing against the Cougars, but they won't really be the two squads we run with.
"We haven't truly worked out which players will be in each squad. There are about 50blokes here at the club vying for a spot in either side.”
Apart from the returning Clint Greenshields, who spent more than a decade at the top level of the game with St George Illawarra and Catalans Dragons, and Wicks himself, the coach said nobody was guaranteed a spot in first grade.
"I guess we have the runs on the board,” Wicks laughed.
"In all seriousness, this trial will be an audition of sorts for all players. It is a chance for blokes to stand up and force us to pick them in first grade.
"The result is not what matters for us here, it is just a chance to trial a few different combinations and give fans an early look at the Ghosts squad.”
The club has also worked tirelessly in the off-season to upgrade the facilities at their graveyard, with the ground looking in top condition.
Today's trial against Casino will be the fans' first opportunity to get a look at the new and improved ground, and with a jumping castle at the ground it is the perfect opportunity to bring the whole family along.
"The ground is looking sensational, it is the best it has been since I have been here,” Wicks said. "The committee has done a fair bit of work, so come out and have a look.
"We want it to be a place where you can bring the whole family out.”
Action in all four grades kicks off at 2pm today.