Coach happy Capras doing it tough
WATCHING the CQ Capras training this week you could have been forgiven for thinking the team was about to start the season in the coming week.
Certainly it was a session that pleased coach John Harbin.
Afterwards he enthused that the full-contact session was exactly what the players had been looking forward to taking part in.
"It was a very willing session," he said.
"They had 40 minutes of fitness work and then the full-contact session.
"It was like letting your dog off the lead after having him chained up all night.
"The total session was a full two hours."
Harbin said he was pleased with the work all the players put in and paid particular credit to the youngsters in the squad who didn't take a backward step when called to take on the more experienced players.
"The young blokes did well standing up to the likes of Tim Glasby," he said.
"There was no quarter given or asked.
"It was that good I didn't want to stop it at all."
Harbin was especially impressed with the efforts of Luke Crumblin, Luke Guinane, Michael Dixon and JB Barrett.
He said Barrett, who has played under 20s with Norths and also Fitzroys, has a bit of rugby league history in his family.
"His two uncles, Paul and Ronny, both played for Central Queensland in the 70s," he said.
"But really all the young boys went well."
Not all the players Harbin hopes to have on the park during the season were able to train with Alan Rothery restricted to "lighter" duties as he recovers from injury.
"We had him doing a lot of boxing," Harbin said.
"The physio is still waiting on some scan results.
"Instead it was Tim Glasby who led from the front."
When the players resume training in the New Year, Harbin will have to make the first of what is sure to be a series of difficult decisions he will face this season.
"We will have to release some players in January," he said.
While not afraid to go through the decision-making process it is always difficult to let players down after they have given everything to try to make the Capras squad.
However, the search for talent continues even though Harbin admits that the 2012 line-up will basically be those players who were on the training paddock this week.
"There will be trials throughout February," he said.
Harbin will also be scouting at the Indigenous Carnival which will be held at Rockhampton towards the end of January.
With the retirement of Nick Kenny and the likely elevation of Ben Hunt to the Broncos line-up, Harbin is not expecting to gain any players from the NRL club.
"It is not something I worry about, you work on people you have got and not on the ones you haven't got," he said.
This week the Capras will wind down ahead of the Christmas break and end their training at the Rockhampton State School grounds.
"We are very grateful to the high school for accommodating us," Harbin said.
"We will be resuming our training on January 3 at Browne Park.''