Anderson feeling bird-brained
SOMEBODY grab Ben Anderson an aspirin – he has serious selection headaches ahead.
Following three impressive trials, the Tweed Heads Seagulls mentor has just six days to settle on the 17 for the season-opener against Souths Logan on Sunday, March 20.
And, a far cry from last year’s lack of depth, Anderson has a wealth of talent at his disposal and many difficult decisions to make in the coming week.
“I can feel the headache coming on already,” Anderson said.
“No, it’s a good headache to have and a lot better than the ones we faced at various stages last year.
“Everyone’s having a great pre-season, showing good, solid form and we haven’t picked up a single injury touch wood.
“Then we’ve possibly got guys like Shannon (Walker) and Ben (Ridge) to come back from the Titans and seven or eight guys in the Bycroft Cup side I wouldn’t hesitate to use so there’s amazing depth available.”
A year wiser after his QRL coaching debut with the Seagulls in 2010, Anderson is benefiting from a “proper” off-season.
Signed in late 2009 on the back of Steve Lacey’s departure after just one season at the helm, Anderson was afforded little time to recruit and work with his charges ahead of their first outing together.
A long season unfolded and while the Seagulls showed plenty of pride and promise and ruffled the feathers of many a top contender, a lack of consistency both in stocks and style meant they were forced to settle for a disappointing ninth-placed finish.
However, having thrashed reigning minor premiers Souths Logan in their first hit-out of the pre-season and backed it up with the decimation of Ipswich in their second and a narrow two-point loss to derby rivals Burleigh on Saturday, things are shaping nicely for the Tweed boys in 2011.
“I came late last year, I was thrown in after November so there was no real planning or recruiting and the whole situation was brand new for everybody,” Anderson said.
“This year though has been much better. We have added some quality talent to the ranks and have much greater depth both on the field and in the dug-out.
“All four teams are very capable of performing this year and there is a real buzz around the club.
“As a group, everyone can’t wait to start the new year and start it with a bang.”
Anderson will announce the Tweed Heads Seagulls 17 on Wednesday.