WATCH: Coach Williams says new era dawns for Capras
RUGBY LEAGUE: Coach Kim Williams says 2018 signals a new era for the Rockhampton Leagues Club Capras.
The club will field a team in the Hastings Deering Colts, a new statewide under-20 competition aligned with the Intrust Super Cup which replaces the former National Youth Competition model.
As a result, the Capras plan to take a "whole club approach” with their under-18 and under-20 squads set to train regularly with the first graders.
That inclusivity was demonstrated on Saturday when about 25 under-20 players trained alongside 38 first graders as the pre-season kicked off.
Williams said there was plenty of good energy among the group as they were put through several running tests and underwent injury screening.
"It's important that we have the squads working together and establishing that real club feel,” he said.
"We're setting up a mentor system throughout the whole club from the coaches to the players to the admin staff and medical staff.
"Our first grade players to an extent will be becoming coaches as well and helping their under-18 and under-20 counterparts improve their game.
"I think that creates leadership qualities in our first grade players and that's something that's really important to us.”
Williams has contracted 30 players, with eight more on train and trial vying for three or four available spots.
"The recruitment has been based on hard-working players and good quality people and I think we've been pretty successful there,” he said.
There has also been a major focus on recruiting local talent with a view to the future.
"They may or may not be first graders this year but we are certainly looking further than just the 2018 season,” Williams said.
"Those local young fellas coming through are extremely important to us and show the pathway that's here.
"We have greater opportunities to keep our young talent here and I think the way we set it up from this season onwards will really help us become a powerhouse club in the next three to five years.”