The Waves coach Jason De Papi. Wide Bay League grand final: United Warriors v The Waves at Hervey Bay Sports Club.
The Waves coach Jason De Papi. Wide Bay League grand final: United Warriors v The Waves at Hervey Bay Sports Club. Matthew McInerney

De Papi back for another year riding The Waves

IN THE end it was an easy decision for Jason De Papi to coach The Waves again.

Last year's coach has recommitted to the side again for this year's Wide Bay League.

But he won't be playing after retiring from the sport following an ACL injury during the finals last year.

De Papi said he was disappointed not to play anymore but couldn't turn his back on the club.

"I enjoy the game and I like giving back to the club,” he said.

"(The Waves) have given me so much over the years.”

De Papi comes back at an interesting time for the side.

Last year's NewsMail Cup and Wide Bay League winners have lost seven senior players who are headed off on new adventures.

From last year's team, just 10 remain, with juniors and players from lower divisions set to replace those who've moved on.

De Papi though isn't worried.

"There's still players from last year capable of doing a job,” he said.

"Some younger players are now coming of age so hopefully we bring them into the team this year.”

De Papi said the club philosophy should also help the younger players.

"From 18s right up to senior football we want them all playing the same style of football,” he said.

"I like to get involved with young kids and make them into senior players by the end of the year.”

The side is preparing, training two nights a week, for its first trial this weekend against a Brisbane outfit.

They then face local rivals the United Warriors and Bingera before the season begins next month.

"Playing starts at training,” De Papi said.

"If they train hard and bring it out on a Saturday then it will be good this year.”

De Papi is also realistic about expectations for the season.

"Every year I just hope to make the top four at the end of the year,” he said.

"It's just a rebuilding year but I'm sure we can be competitive throughout the season.”

The Waves play against a Brisbane side in two matches on Saturday at The Waves ground at 4pm.



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