NEW Western Rams coach Dennis Moran has declared all positions vacant in his squad ahead of the 2013 Country Rugby League Championships.
Moran was yesterday on the golf course at Oberon as he and his fellow Country Rugby League development officers enjoyed their end-of-season Christmas celebrations.
And while he couldn’t commit to how many shots he might have hitting the little white ball around, what he wants to achieve in rugby league with the Rams is more important.
He’s showed that same commitment during his many years playing the game in the NRL, in the United Kingdom and in country football with Parkes Spacemen in recent years.
The added challenge for Moran will be that the Rams are returning to the CRL Tier 1 competition that boasts heavyweights Newcastle, Illawarra and the Central Coast.
It will be the first time the senior Rams side has contested the Tier 1 competition since 2009.
For the last three years Group 10 and Group 11 have fielded sides in the Tier 2 championship.
In 2013, the Rams have drawn Central Coast first up at Cooma on June 1 next year.
“We can’t go into Tier 1 without the best players and one of the first things I will be doing is making sure everyone is available,” he said .
“The club have said we want to play in the top grade so we have to be competitive.
“The players want to play against the best and I’m only too happy to be their coach.
“We need a strong commitment from the clubs to encourage their players to be available for selection.
“I understand there will be some new players at the clubs next year in Group 10 and 11 and who those players are and how good they are is yet to be determined.
“I’m not making any promises to anyone in any position. All positions are up for the grabs and hopefully the selectors will give me the best players.
“The quality is there so we just have to make it work as a team.”
Moran said he had yet to speak with Western Rams officials to finalise his coaching and management staff for the team. That will also be a priority for the new year.
Moran and the selectors will have trials in Group 10 and 11 to start their talent search and the early rounds of the competitions.
He believes there will be a final selection trial in May before the Rams side is named.
Group 11 have had success in the Tier 2 competition winning the title in 2011 and 2012 and making the final in 2010.
In Moran, Western Rams will be in good hands.
And the same man is still competitive as a player, winning both the Group 11 player of the year, and referees awards in 2012.
From 1997 to 2000 he played 36 games for the Parramatta Eels, another 109 for the London Broncos between 2001-04 and then 39 games over two seasons with Wigan Warriors. He also played with Widnes Vikings and Leigh Centurions before coming to Parkes in 2009.