Seagulls coach praises its juniors amidst transfer furore
HERVEY Bay Seagulls coach Jai Ingram has defended the acquisition of two players from a rival club.
Maryborough Brothers pair Hedi Kafoa and Letuia Eliu switch to the Seagulls was finalised earlier this week, and both are expected to debut for the club today.
The Seagulls copped criticism for its involvement in the player market, particularly after Ingram highlighted the club's dependence on juniors earlier this year, but the coach said he could not ask the youngsters to play three games per round.
"We haven't been able to play the same 17 since round five. Injuries, illness and work commitments have been touch on us,” he said.
"We were lucky enough to have some talented juniors, young men that have some weeks played three games.
"That's tough, both physically and mentally, and I couldn't be prouder of those players. But I can't expect them to play all three grades week in, week out.”
Ingram said the club tried to address the issue.
"We were lucky enough the opportunity arose to to make a play for some quality players,” Ingram said.
"I couldn't be any prouder of our juniors, they are the heart and soul of our club.
"Youth provides us energy and senior players give us experience. Both are keys to our success.”
The Seagulls will face local rivals Wallaroos at Childers Showground.
Ingram said he was confident his side would bounce back after a 14-point loss to Past Brothers.
"We have lost a few games due to attitude,” he said.
"Training hasn't been too good. When it comes to the crunch, you fall back on training.
"That's where it starts, with our attitude towards training, and our effort in games. We have all the ability in the world but attitude always wins.”
The Seagulls lost fullback Logona Vetemotu to injury while centre and former Warriors junior Koli Oneone returned to New Zealand.
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