Flooding hinders Cats pre-season
A FLOODED Six Mile Oval has disrupted preparations for the Gympie Cats AFL side ahead of a pre-season carnival at the Sunshine Coast this weekend.
Newly appointed coach Jason Kent said flood waters had receded yesterday for training to begin again last night for the carnival in Maroochydore.
“It's been a bit of a struggle getting ready but the boys have been doing some training themselves at home,” he said.
The carnival will involve numerous Sunshine Coast teams and the Cats will play a minimum of four games.
Should the team perform well, the Gympie side could find themselves with a shot at the final.
Kent said he was looking forward to the outing as a chance for the team to settle into the new season and for his players to clock up some mileage.
“It's an opportunity for me to see the boys on the field playing a game and seeing how the positions are working,” he said.
The new coach was realistic with his expectations about just how well the team would perform.
“It's early on in the season and the Sunshine Coast teams are very strong,” he said.
“I am hopeful of a good showing but what's important is that we are getting some field time playing competitive footy.”
In previous years, the Cats have played friendly pre-season matches against arch rivals Pomona and Fraser Coast sides.
But this is the first year the Gympie AFL outfit has taken a place in the carnival in Maroochydore, and Kent believes it's an ideal introduction to the season.
Meanwhile, the coach is excited about two young recruits donning a jersey and joining the side.
Jacob Sheridan and Matty Wardle are part of a strong, youthful base in the Cats side.
“One of our strengths this year will definitely be our younger players,” Kent said.
To balance things out, the Cats' older cohort is set to offer guidance and experience to the team's younger players.
“The great thing about Jacob and Matty is that they have men's bodies, so that will really help them in the physical tussle with older players,” Kent said.
Kent has replaced outgoing coach Hugh Stewart at the helm of Gympie's top AFL side after being selected earlier this year by the Gympie AFL Club out of a number of potential candidates.