Richard Mitchell (left) and Jim Cairney (right) with David Hillier.
Richard Mitchell (left) and Jim Cairney (right) with David Hillier. Murray Wenzel Soca

Spirit's new driving force

HIGH-CALIBRE squads are attending training, the coaching situation is secure and a new committee has pledged increased financial backing for last year’s Hyundai State League wooden spooners.

The mood in the Bundaberg Toyota Spirit camp has never been better.

Bundaberg Toyota managing director David Hillier will take over as president of the club this season, and he says plans are already in place to inject funds into the club.

“The players deserve to be looked after, so we are starting to build up the coffers and see how we can provide for them,” he said.

Hillier met with head coach Richard Mitchell and vice president Jim Cairney yesterday to discuss how the Spirit would improve on last year’s embarrassing record.

The committee confirmed they would be seeking players from the Wide Bay region to join the squad and also acknowledged they were willing to pay players if it was viable.

They said recruitment from further afield was out of the question this season, but not unreasonable in the long term.

“We are definitely looking at assisting the current squad members, but there’s no guarantee on that yet,” Hillier said.

The new president also confirmed Bundaberg Toyota had renewed its deal with the Spirit for another three seasons.

Mitchell lauded the appointment of Hillier as a new start for the Spirit.

“Not taking away the work of the guys in the past two seasons, but David is a very successful businessman and has football in his blood,” he said.

“He is well-connected and has the ability to bring more financially to the club, which is exactly what we need.”

Hillier plays third division for Bargara and has two sons playing the sport.

“I’m just like any member of the community. I want to see the Spirit do well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mitchell has talked down the idea that the reduced eight-team state league will be of a lesser standard this season.

“That’s a dangerous perception,” he said.

“It’s going to remain a very difficult competition and that is how we want it.”

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