I want the same team: Brien's determined to mentor Magpies to success

 BACK ON BOARD: Rory Brien will continue his tenure as Cowra coach.

BACK ON BOARD: Rory Brien will continue his tenure as Cowra coach.

Rory Brien is excited to continue his involvement with the Cowra Magpies in 2017, but it will only be as coach.

The former Parramatta Eels under 20s captain concedes his body wasn’t up to the task of playing last year, despite his heart telling him otherwise.

 Brien, though, says him focusing solely on coaching will benefit the Cowra Magpies and their push to return to finals football next season.

“I won’t be playing next year. I did my best to get around last season, so I can focus on my coaching now,” Brien said.

“I was always going to put my hand up I believe in having two years at it. The committee was happy to stand by me.

”It should be a really good year.”

Brien said there won’t be major changes to the side that won just four games last season.

Incumbent halfback Cameron Breust remains a big hope for the Magpies, and Brien highly anticipates him hitting his best form.

"Gully" representing Cowra's major sponsor the Valley with Marty Annetts, Rory Brien, Steve Johnstone, Anthony Hamer and Cameron Donnelly. Absent Brendan Tidswell.

"Gully" representing Cowra's major sponsor the Valley with Marty Annetts, Rory Brien, Steve Johnstone, Anthony Hamer and Cameron Donnelly. Absent Brendan Tidswell.

“He’s the key to our structure so he’s our main man in moving Cowra forward. It’s what we were targeting when I first came to town, we needed a halfback that could lead us around the paddock,” Brien said.

I said to the committee I want the same team. There’s no one I don’t want there. - Rory Brien.

“I’ve got no doubts he can do it. He’s well on his way to being fully fit and injury free next year.”

Despite indicating there won’t be mass changes, Brien hinted that Cowra is in the market for new talent.

“I said to the committee I want the same team. There’s no one I don’t want there, but I would love to see a bit of size in our pack,” he said.

The fullback position may be vacant, with confirmation 2016 No.1 Tim Bassmann has succumb to injuries and won’t feature in the side’s make-up.

“It’s a working progress we’re a really young team. I put my faith in this team,” Brien said.

“I think they’re great players, yea they’re a bit green at the moment but I’m sure they’ll come out on top.

“We have to be patient,” he said.

Coaching next year’s lower grades is Marty Annetts (first division), Brendan Tidswell (league tag) and Steve Johnstone, Cameron Donnelly and Anthony Hamer (under 18s).

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