Capras good to go: coach
JOHN Harbin has been around too long to be easily pleased.
However, even the experienced Capras coach was delighted with his team's first training session on Monday night.
"I was very pleased with the roll-up and attitude of the players," he said.
With 45 players attending and a further four or five unable to make the session, Harbin has good reason to be satisfied.
The squad was split into three groups, with props, locks and second-rowers making up one, halves, five-eighths and hookers another, while the third comprised of wingers, centres and full backs.
While the promise has been to bring young players through the system and into the Capras senior team, a nucleus of experienced players is required to get the best from these younger players.
Harbin was satisfied that nucleus would be filled.
In the forwards Alan Rothery, Tim Glasby and James Crombie were among those training and looking enthusiastic, while Jonathon Tavinor and Gavin Duffy were talking things up with the other playmakers of their group.
Harbin said Tavinor's attitude impressed him and should he remain injury free, unlike last year, he would play a big part in the Capras.
One good session is no guarantee the Capras can look forward to a successful season but Harbin is happy with what was achieved.
"First we have to create the environment and then we can do the coaching," he said.
Following the session there were no negative responses from players, the coach said.
"If you work a dog hard he won't bite you," he joked.
Some players are prepared to do it tough and one is former Melbourne Storm squad member Sammy Joe. After playing a couple of NRL games, Joe left the Storm and returned to Central Queensland to play in the Central Highlands and work at the mines.
When Harbin caught up with him Joe had put on more than 40kg since his NRL days but expressed a desire to be a part of the Capras.
"In three weeks he is down from 147kg to 138kg," Harbin said. "We hope to get him down to under 120kg."
Harbin will be away in Fiji for the next four days attending some rugby league trials. However, he made no promises to bring back any of the players he will be watching.
"They would have to be the sort of players I am looking for," he said.