Dale's no turkey in fitness stakes
CENTRAL Comets forward enforcer Andrew Dale will flick pass the Christmas turkey for a feast of fitness this summer.
While most of his team-mates are enjoying the club's 14-day break from pre-season training, Dale, nicknamed Heavy, is determined to punch out some big numbers ahead of the Comets' 2006 campaign.
However, wind back the clock 12 months ago and it would be a different story for the 121kg wrecking ball, turned gym-junkie.
"I didn't know what the inside of the gym looked like,'' said Dale, who has impressed club officials with his strong work ethic since training commenced in October.
"People have always said to me 'You've got the talent to go places' but I've just got to put in the hard yards.''
The CQU Norths Chargers product, one of Browne Park's crowd favourites, burst onto the Queensland Wizard Cup scene last season and hasn't looked back.
"Coming from Norths and losing only one game and coming to the Comets to win only one game all season was a bit hard, but it made me a better player.
"It made me realise it's not all about winning, it's about competing against the best footballers.''
New Comets coach Matt Parish has assembled one of the club's strongest squads in recent times and Dale is quietly confident the Rockhamptonbased club will take a step forward next season.
"We want to show everyone in CQ that we can compete against the big teams,'' he said.
"We just don't want to beat the Tweed Heads and Souths Logans. We want to hammer them and then knock over the likes of Redcliffe and Burleigh.''
Since arriving in the Comets' coaches seat from a successful stint with The Entrance club in the NSW Jim Beam Cup, Parish has high hopes for a newlook Dale in 2006.
"He's really working hard and knows this is his big chance,'' Parish said.