THE Blayney Rugby League committee wanted to add more size to their premier league side and they’ve done that by signing Terawhiti Cooper as captain-coach for the 2014 Group 10 season.
The storming prop is not the only big signing for the club, which returned to the Group 10 competition in 2013.
Former CYMS speedster Kurt Beahan will join the Bears next year along with Cowra centre Josh Rainbow.
“We believe we’ve got the best group of local players Blayney has had in a long time,” Blayney president Adam Hornby said.
“We just needed a few players size-wise to help them.”
Cooper was part of the Orange Hawks side that claimed this year’s Group 10 minor premiership before losing the grand final to CYMS 22-14.
Hornby said Cooper’s former CYMS teammates Ben McKenna and Josh Nixon spoke to him about joining Blayney.
“We spoke to him [Cooper] and he was that enthusiastic that he wanted to captain-coach that we decided on the spot that he was our man,” Hornby explained.
“This is a new challenge for him. He said it’s something he’s wanted to do for about 12 months.”
Beahan was keen to join Blayney to reunite with good friend Cooper, as the two formerly played at CYMS in 2011.
Injury sidelined Beahan in the 2013 season but Hornby is confident the winger will pull on the boots for the first Group 10 game next year.
Hornby said Rainbow was coming to Blayney to be closer to his girlfriend.
Jake Anlezark captain-coached Blayney this year but work may mean he cannot play in 2014.
“We believe Jake will come back,” Hornby said.
“He didn’t want to coach. He probably won’t decide until the new year. He has said if he’s in the area, he’ll play with Blayney.”
Blayney went through the 2013 season winless in the top grade, but Hornby was quick to say that wasn’t Anlezark’s fault and praised the young captain-coach’s effort.
The president said the rest of this year’s premier league side would return in 2014.
The new signings mean the Bears are already talking about their on-field plans for next year.
“Our goal is to win a game,” Hornby said.
“Our goal, like everyone, is to win the comp, but that’s a major task. Now with these guys helping us and giving us a bit more size, the semi-finals are our next goal.
“The young blokes in town just want to play football. We said for their safety, we needed some bigger players. For 20 minutes we were in games, but in the end the size got us.”
Blayney will field all three men’s grades in 2014 and will also enter a women’s league tag side.
“Lisa Oborn has got about 25 girls lined up,” Hornby said.
“They’re just as keen as the first grade boys. I think it’s a big thing for clubs.”
Hornby said the club was looking at one more key signing for the top grade but wouldn’t reveal who it was.
The plan is for Cooper to start his coaching duties before this year is out.
“TC is on holidays at the moment,” Hornby said.
“When he’s back we’ll have a meet-the-coach day and he’s talking about starting training in early December.”