A note from Dean regarding the preseason so far.

Our A grade side finished its pre season trials with a confidence building win on saturday against Ipswich Norths at Herb Steinhort Oval.

After two tough trials against Souths and Brisbane Easts FOGS A grade where we experimented with lots of different players and sides, our last trial gave a good indication that this season will be a positive one with a solid performance and minimal errors.


On the day there were a few really good performances. Ryan Stevens showed some real class and great signs that he is a real talent and a brilliant young halfback in the making. An early try of his showed how good is instincts on the footy are. Luke Smith, new at the club from Oakey, was the other real standout for me. Luke is a talented, ball playing forward who can cover hooker and lock and in this trial he showed how well he is going to fit into our style of play through the middle with some smart and tough football.


It is great to see a host of new and enthusiastic faces at the club this year and this is a good opportunity to welcome them all into the Valleys family. It is no secret that we are a club in a transitional phase after a long run of success which has now seen most of those players from those years move on. We made a conscious decision as a club this year to back the brilliant young players that the club has developed and bring in new faces only if they fit two criteria.


A: quality footballers who want to get even better, and…

B: quality people who want to be part of a club that has morale standards and is committed to a culture of hard work and mate-ship.


In other words, when bringing in players this year it was about more than football for us.


So in saying that it is with great pleasure that we welcome a host of new personalities into the club who have so far gelled beautifully into these ideals and have helped create a real positive and enjoyable atmosphere at training.


Luke Smith who I’ve already mentioned is a notable recruit and is adding a great presence on and off the field. Luke is a talented and natural footballer as well as a hard worker, the traits you’re really looking for as a coach and the fact that he’s a great guy only makes him a better pick up for the club.


Hayden McNichol has signed from Warwick and comes with a lot of experience and skill which will really help us in the outside backs. Like Luke, Hayden is a current rep player and is also a great personality to have around the club.


Amongst a host of others we have Anthony Ball who played at Dalby last year and brings a lot of experience and calmness to our pack. Back rower Tyrone Jowett has come to us from NSW and has been really impressive in pre-season training and trials. Anthony and Tyrone will both provide plenty of punch on our edges.


From New Zealand we have props Simon Mapapalngi, Lawrence Poe and Herman Ene Purcell, all who will provide plenty of size and skill in the middle of the park. Centre Vaea La’akulu was impressive in our last trial and looks like a dangerous player out wide. Back rower Maui Poe is a really enthusiastic and aggressive player who adds plenty of toughness and Jared Tapusoa is a utility hooker / half who fitted in nicely after arriving just before the last trial.


Out of our development system it has been great to see also several young talents step up into the senior squad this year and impress already in trials. Half Josh Hancock has proved that he will push the older guys for an A grade spot in the trials and the same can be said of centre Huey Sedger and half James Dempsey. Back rowers Dave Murphy and Jason Sharpe will also push hard for A-Grade starts after their 18’s Clydesdales commitments and it’s a credit to the youth development system at our club and in particular Rob Fenwick aka ‘Stinger’ for developing such a strong crop of young players in the club over the last few years.


Other notable additions are Jake Capewell who is a skilful and experienced half who already looks to be pushing hard to play alongside his younger brother Sam in A grade and Ash Hazard, who was impressive in our last trial in the backrow.


Out of our seasoned players I’m expecting a big year from Sam Capewell who has trained really well and looked in great shape in the trial against Easts and the big improver after a solid year last year is going to be Inoke Rokotolu. I really haven’t seen such a rapid improvement in a player ever as Inoke has made and it is great for everyone around the club to see his hard work pay off.


Blake Edwards looked really good in the last trial also and I’m expecting a big step up from him and Valleys stalwarts Andrew Farrell and Cam McKellar will also be vital for us judging for their combined input in the last trial.


All in all it has been an incredibly challenging but rewarding off season and pre-season. I am incredibly happy with the squad we’ve put together and I’m having more fun than I’ve ever had as a coach coaching this group so far. I can’t wait for the year to kick off and the highs and lows that we re all going to face together, because I know with the quality people we have in this playing group that no matter how tough things get we’re all going to stick together and see it through, which will make any achievements even more satisfying.


Dean Bosnich.

Posted in : A Grade News, Club News