Allied Pickfords Preview: Coolangatta

The Blues are keen for a fresh start in 2013.

After a disrupted pre-season, Coolangatta is ready for round one of the Allied Pickfords Cup.

New playing coach, Daniel Hawkins, stepped into the role part way through the side’s preparations and said the response from the group had been incredibly positive so far.

“It’s obviously been a pretty interrupted pre-season for us but since I’ve been here, it’s been good.”

Hawkins returned to the Coast after a year working in Gladstone and said he was excited for the challenge of playing and coaching.

“It [coaching] is something I’ve always looked at like further down the line,” he said.

“I’ve taken it on board and really enjoying it at the minute.

In his new role, Hawkins found the biggest challenge, as a midfielder, was being able to see everything on the ground.

“The biggest challenge on game day is being able to sort of have a look at the whole game in itself because I usually play in the midfield,” he said.

“I’ve had to play forward just to have a look at everyone, so that’s probably been the biggest transition from playing to playing coach.”

Despite having played at Coolangatta for five years, Hawkins said he was still getting to know many of the players, who are playing at the club for the first time.

“In one of our practice matches, there was only four or five players that have played at the club previously,” he said.

“It’s just a whole different group of boys.”

One of the new players who has stood up in the pre-season is 18-year-old Victorian, Zac Brain

A hard-nosed midfielder in his first year of senior footy, Hawkins said Brain would be a major boost to the club in 2013.

“He is very hard at the ball for a young kid,” he said.

“You would think he’s a 150-game veteran with the way he plays, but he’s new to senior football.

“He’s going to be a great acquisition for us this year.”

Hawkins said the Blues would not be giving up any easy possessions to oppositions this season, taking advantage of their relatively small list.

“We’re a short side so we want to be able to outnumber at every contest against the opposition,”

“We want to be able to win every contest that we go into.”

After winning only one game last season, Hawkins said he would judge the Blues’ improvement on factors other than simply their win-loss ledger.

As well as Brain, club stalwart Jamie Carey has impressed Hawkins in training, doing extra fitness work.

“Jamie’s been putting in the yards. If we can get him reasonably fit and competitive, he’ll be a big asset for us.”

“And just everyone, when they’ve been at training, they’ve been putting in the yards here.

“It’s just a matter of getting everyone on the track at one time.”

Coolangatta plays its first game against Burleigh at Bill Godfrey Oval on April 20.

For the full fixture, click here.

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