Craig Porter and Barney Caruana are looking forward to their roles with the Berserker Bears for the upcoming season.
Craig Porter and Barney Caruana are looking forward to their roles with the Berserker Bears for the upcoming season. CHRIS ISON CI

New coach for Berserker Bears

Craig Porter may be the new coach with the Berserker Bears but he is promising his players a return to old values for the coming Capricorn League season.

The recently appointed Porter has taken on the tough task of player/coach with the Bears and admits the dual role, in his first senior coaching position, is a challenge.

Nevertheless he can’t wait for training to get underway tonight at the Bears home ground, Elizabeth Park.

“It will be a challenge to start with but I want to give something back to the game,” Porter said.

At the end of last season Porter decided against another year with the Cougars and opted to play his football in the local competition.

After contacting most of the player group Porter feels the Bears will have a good squad for the 2010 season.

“If all turn up it will be a good year,” he said.

It is this commitment that Porter wants to bring back to the club, a culture where players don’t simply demand a place in a team but go out and earn their spot.

“I want to bring a bit of the old school back to the game,” he said.

“While in Rockhampton we don’t have the player depth for them to fight for their spots, I would at least like to bring that (competition) back to our club.

“I want that bit of hunger for positions.”

Porter fought his way into top Berserker teams, serving an apprenticeship on the bench before being accepted into the first team for the old CQ League.

The coach said there are things to take into consideration as some of his players work outside the normal day time hours, but when available he will be expecting them to turn out and fight for their spots.

“A lot of my position is about player management,” he said.

Porter has not ended his association with the Cougars as coach Brad Smith is still a close friend.

However, he is looking for 16 players who are committed to the Bears and among that number it’s likely Michael Cay and Matthew Black, Cougars squad members last year, would feature.

Although Berserker players are yet to hit the training pitch, Porter is in the midst of sorting out practice matches saying he has already lined up games with both Nerimbera and the Cougars during February.

Porter expects most of last season’s Bears squad to be available and hints there may be one or two players who may be willing to return to the club.

Taking the manager’s role with the Bears first team is 2009 coach Barney Caruana.

“I spoke to Craig a while back and planted the idea (coaching),” Caruana confessed.

“It will be a good move for the club as we can tap into his Cougars experience.”

Caruana admitted the Bears had enjoyed an up-and-down 2009 season and felt the players were better than their mid-table finish.

Porter said it is important having an organised person like Caruana on the sideline to assist him, especially while he is playing.

The Bears also feel they have made a good selection for reserve team coach with the experienced Robbie Staal in charge.

Caruana also predicts a tremendous season for the women’s team with Tim Grieves remaining in the coaching position but a number of talented players indicating they are about to change into Berserker colours.

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