STRONG DEFENCE: Caboolture players swarm in defence during last year’s Sunshine Coast A-grade decider against Stanley River at Bokarina. Photo: Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily
STRONG DEFENCE: Caboolture players swarm in defence during last year’s Sunshine Coast A-grade decider against Stanley River at Bokarina. Photo: Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily

Snakes keen to sink teeth into season after 2019 final

RUGBY LEAGUE: Caboolture coach Mark Carstens says the club is eager to "dig in again" this year, after coming so close to winning the title last season.

The Snakes were within reach of their first Sunshine Coast A-grade premiership since 2011, when they let slip a 10-0 lead to lose 28-16.

Carstens said the core group of players were determined to get back on the field and have another shot at the title, if the nine-team season gets under way. It's been delayed by Covid-19.

"We only lost the whole thing by a couple of tries (last year). A lot of the players are keen to come back and dig in again and see how we go," Carstens said.

The Snakes enjoyed a promising pre-season before the postponement of the competition.

"It was building quite nicely before we had the carpet pulled out from under us. We had a good camp. It went really well, and the guys were starting to get excited," Carstens said.

The Snakes boast essentially the same squad as last year, with the addition of some players who have been recruited from north Brisbane clubs.

"The boys stay pretty loyal," Carstens said.

There's also a promising batch of youngsters coming through the ranks.

"We have a good group of 18s. The numbers have swelled."

But Carstens is also wary of their opposition.

"There are a lot of other clubs on the rise. Andrew (Hinson) did a good job with the boys at Kawana last year, so they're on the rise and Noosa have recruited well so there are plenty of challenges to meet."

With the season delayed, Carstens has kept in contact with his players in recent months but has not pushed them to train individually.

"Once we know what sort of conditions we'll be able to train and play under, then we can start working out what we're trying to do more accurately.

"I don't think hunger will be an issue but the whole season has been turned upside down."

If the season does start, he doesn't want it to finish late in the year.

"We might still be another couple of months before we can do contact training. How can you get your head around that … and how late would the season go?

" I don't really want to be dragging guys into the middle of the paddock on a Saturday afternoon in 35 degrees heat and asking them to play a full game of footy. I don't know how they (organisers) are going to make it work."

But he said the club was "in good shape".

"We can ride out the year like this and stay intact and reassemble without any fuss when the time comes, when we know the season might like look like."



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