Visitors keen to join Cougars
THEY have never felt the Australian heat, let alone Rockhampton’s, but these three London boys are keen to set the standard against the locals to score a spot in the 2010 Cougars squad.
Fergus McIntosh, Robert Lupton and Martyn Davies arrived at Rockhampton Airport yesterday with an army of welcomers keen to get the first glimpse of the possible players.
And even though coach Brad Smith hasn’t seen the boys in action, they do have the experience to back their talent.
“We are really excited about being here,” Davies said yesterday.
“Back home we played for our University and then Welsh leagues one and two, but we played for different teams.”
Davies, 23, will be out to secure striker position in the Cougars, whereas McIntosh, 22, will be trying out for a spot as winger.
Lupton, 22, will be playing as a defender and said he was interested to see the standard of the local boys.
“We are attacking players, but we don’t know how the local players are; we have to see how it is when we go to training,” he said.
“But I hope we make the team; we would like to stay for the season.”
But despite the excitement, coach Brad Smith said it didn’t matter where they had come from, if they couldn’t cut it they would not make the team.
“The fact is it doesn’t matter if you are a local or from overseas; it doesn’t give you a walk-up start, I am going to go with who is the best,” Smith said yesterday.
“The maximum we can have in the squad is 20, but if they are not pulling their weight they won’t make it – it is up to them to make me say ‘you are in’.”
But the three boys aren’t the only imported players, with 23-year-old David Thomas flying in earlier this month, and they may not be the last.
“It is really exciting having them here. There is a real buzz around the team with them here,” Smith said.
“And there is some potential to have a couple more players coming over in a few weeks.
“We have had a huge amount of interest from outside players to join the team.”
The three London boys have only been in Australia for about one week, but were up for their first training session last night.
The boys said they were excited to meet the team and see where the standard of playing was in Rockhampton.