Rocked Roos vow to rebound
By LUIS FELIU
TWEED Heads Kangaroos are looking to get the jump on other Gold Coast First Division teams in the 2005 season and rebuild with an infusion of new young talent and a new coach.
The regrouping of the club continues after what long-time coach and administrator Mark Thelwall described as a disastrous 2004 season marked by the death of two senior players.
Thelwall, who took the year off to spend time with his family and a new baby, has returned to the fold to try and re-establish the club as the force it had been for several years.
Appointed as men's head coach, Thelwall will oversee the club's coaching program and help new first-division coach Steve 'Sunny' Styles shape his team into the winning combination it once was.
"2004 was a disastrous year for us - in February we lost Mark Bryant who was killed in a diving accident and at the end of April my brother-in-law Peter Dawes was killed in a car accident," Thelwall said.
"It was a massive bodyblow for the club?.?.?.?and we lost lots of players including nine from firstgrade who went elsewhere.
"At the end of 2003 when I finished up we couldn't have had a better finish to the year - we won everything that year: minor premiers and grand-final winners and I was named Tweed Heads coach of the year and Gold Coast divisionone men's coach of the year.
"In my eight years with the club, we've won four grand finals and one minor premiership plus the Anzac Cup in Lismore - the first team to win it outside of Lismore - as well as having three players named player of the year on the Gold Coast.
"But this year we finished seventh of eight teams so we have to look at rebuilding now."
Styles said "anything above that in our new team's first season is a bonus, especially as the young ones have to settle in".
Styles, who had previously played with the club for a few seasons and coached women and junior teams, said his plan was to take the new team to Premier League in about three years.