Birds of prey

IT'S hard not to be impressed with the line-up Tweed Heads Seagulls will start their Queensland Cup campaign with when they tackle Northern Pride at Kingscliff on Saturday.

After a disappointing year in 2008, Seagulls are bound to make a big impact on the competition with the team announced yesterday.

As the major feeder club for the Gold Coast Titans, it's no surprise that the side features a number of players who have already seen NRL action in the Titans' trials program.

Last year was the first season the Tweed club had to deal with a large numbers of players coming back to play in the Queensland Cup after missing out on the Titans' NRL team and the 2007 Q-cup premiers struggled with the adjustment.

But new coach Steve Anderson has had previous experience with feeder club arrangements after being involved with Melbourne Storm.

He has adopted the approach that players not making the Titans should use Seagulls games to impress and press for NRL selection, and so far it's working.

Indeed the Tweed team to play the Cairns-based side on Saturday afternoon at Ned Byrne Field is shaping up as one of the strongest in many years, according to Seagulls football manager Jack Stiles.

“There's a good mix of experience and enthusiasm and Anderson has been working hard to have the team working together for the season-opener,” Stiles said.

Back from last year is five-eighth Brad Davis, who has been in sensational form in the Titans' trials, half-back Tim Maccan, centre James Woods and second rower Selasi Berdie, who has also impressed in the trials. He will be partnered in the second row by Jake Leary.

They will be joined by 2007 Seagulls premiership players Shannon Walker at full-back and Will Matthews in the front row.

Joining them in the side will be wingers Brenton Bowen and Ben Jeffrey, centre and World Cup rep for PNG, David Mead, Michael Henderson at prop and former Titans NYC players Geoff Holcombe at hooker and former NYC captain Ryan Simpkins at lock.

The bench consists of Bodene Thompson, Brock Hunter, Tom Kingston and Kingi Akauola.

FOGS Colts kick off the action at 11.45am (DST), with the main event at 3pm.

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