Comets return fit and firing

RUGBY LEAGUE: Central Queensland Comets coach Wayne Barnett knows a good pre-season doesn’t necessarily equate to success on the park but nevertheless he is happy with the way his players are shaping up for 2010.

“I think they are coming in a lot fitter,” he said.

“They know their spots (in the team) are on the line.”

Last weekend the players got together for the first training session of the new year and were tested by the coaching staff to determine their level of fitness during a “beep test”.

Some players gave notice they were far better prepared for the season than when training started for the 2009 season.

“Last year big George (Tuakura) could only manage a seven (on the test) but this year he was at 10.4,” Barnett said.

Not all could match Tuakura or were prepared to tough it out to try and earn a place in the Comets Queensland Cup team or one of the club’s two age-group teams.

Barnett said he and the coaching and training staff were beginning to whittle out the ones who were not prepared to put in the effort.

In general the players are happy with the program.

“They absolutely love our new gym,” he said.

The gym at the Rockhampton Showground is a first for the club and is a sign of a more professional approach to the game.

After holding their first session at Victoria Park and then Voss Park on Tuesday, the Comets conducted their workout at Rockhampton High School last night.

“We are all over the traps at the moment as we are not allowed on to Browne Park until December,” the coach said

Very soon Barnett and the Comets crew will welcome Chris Beasley who, along with Darren Mapp, comes from the Celtic Crusaders.

Also Karl Johnson returns and Ian Webster is back early next month after his victorious spell with the Welsh national team.

“He’s very excited about telling me he’s now a European Cup winner,” Barnett joked.

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