WITH a smile from ear-to-ear, Lionel Harbin announced it was going to be a good year.
About 80 aspiring rugby league players turned out in tough conditions to trial for Rockhampton Leagues Club CQ Capras under-18 squad on Saturday.
Capras under-18 coach Harbin initially only had 25 spots up for grabs, but such is the talent in the region, he has expanded it to 35 for the Mal Meninga Cup competition in 2014.
Harbin said the fantastic turnout of players displayed a lot of local talent, making the decision of who would make the cut a tough one.
"It was very hot but they all went very well and I was very impressed with the standard as well," Harbin said.
"It was very tough to make the decision but we actually extended our squad to 35 just to give the boys an opportunity to train with us and the opportunity to trial against some of the opposition teams that we will be playing next year."
While 10 players will be cut from the 35- man side before they make their debut in the annual Mal Meninga Cup next season, Harbin said they would have ample opportunity to prove themselves.
"We will have to cut it down to 25 eventually but it's about giving them an extra chance to prove themselves," the coach said.
"I think that it's going to be a tough forward pack and I think they're going to lead the way for us in a lot of games.
"It's going to be a pretty big side and we've got some speed there as well in Isaiah Sullivan, Lindsay Jarrett and Jake Ainsworth, so there's a lot of speed in the team and with a tough forward pack I'm looking forward to coaching them."
With many of the players graduating from high school this week and heading off to schoolies, Harbin said they would have a chance to celebrate before putting in the hard yards in the next few months.
"It's going to be hard for these guys because they're finishing school and will have schoolies week so we've got to let them have their fun," he said.
"It's all about development and it's going to be a good year."
CQ Capras under-18s
Brodie Perry, Elliot Thompson, Lindsay Jarrett, Isaiah Sullivan, Astin Nunan, Lachlan Norris, Wade Fickling, Lachlan Hall, Angus Fitzgerald, Batharne McLean, Joel Richards, Jeff Buckle, Hayden Doyle, Tre Watson, Jack Collins, Lachlan Bates, Brady Mayne, Tom Brose, Bacho Salam, Stephen Stafford, Dean McAdam, Anthony Mouritz, Maihe Raihe, Joshua Maloney, Jake Ainsworth, Kadison Armstrong, Tyron Davis, Sean Anderson, Alex Mather, Cailan Kupke, Lionel Anau, Joel Butler, Jonathan Still, Jermaine Willett, Mitchell Forest, Charlie Mayne (pending injury report). Coach: Lionel Harbin.