Positive signs for new-look Cudgen
By ADAM WRATTEN
FORMER Northern Eagles fullback Andrew King will line up for Cudgen Hornets this season as new coach Jamie Mathiou looks to experienced campaigners to help re-build the club.
Though Mathiou has recruited heavily for the upcoming season he is keen to give the club's exciting crop of local youngsters every opportunity.
"This is my local team and my idea is to give all the locals a fair go," Mathiou said.
"We have got a three-year plan in place .?.?.?. (and) what we have done is bring in experience, which we will blend with the local blokes.
"We also have a junior development program happening."
Other new faces to join King, who played with the Eagles, Manly and Souths in the NRL, include former New Zealand five-eighth Dave Watson and Queensland Cup recruits Ryan McCarthy (Ipswich), Mat Chadburn (Tweed) and Craig Sercombe (Brothers).
Craig Thurston, the brother of North Queensland recruit Jonathon, and fellow Brisbane Broncos product Michael Weatherall have also signed with the Hornets as has Troy Dickinoski (Murwillumbah).
Mathiou said though the Hornets made the semifinals last year, they only won five games.
A repeat scenario would see it near the bottom of the new Northern Rivers competition.
"This is a new squad and I'm very confident in the players we have. I'm definitely looking at winning this competition, but we have to be realistic .?.?. it is going to be a tough learning curve."