Battling a premiership hangover from the year before, Forbes were bundled out of the 2018 Blowes Clothing Cup in the first week of the semi-finals but after an off-field shake-up the Platypi are ready to roll in their bid to return to the top of Central West Rugby Union’s top tier.
There’s been a few changes to the Platypi’s board but the club’s coaching staff also has several new faces, including the somewhat surprising appointment of two player-coaches in the top grade.
While player-coaches or captain-coaches are quite common in Group 11 Rugby League’s competitions they’re quite the opposite in the 15-man code, but Forbes have made the move to appoint duo Jack Hammond and Jarrod Hall as mentors.
Familiar faces to the local community, premiership-winning skipper Jack Hammond will take charge of the Platypi’s backs while powerhouse vice-captain Jarrod Hall will coach the forwards.
Phil Prior, who’s served as an assistant coach and manager for many years, returns in an official capacity as coaching coordinator.
Forbes’ new president Rhys Woods said he’s looking forward to seeing what Hammond and Hall can do in their new roles, with the club looking to inject some youth in leadership roles across the board.
“As a club we have a focus on starting to get more people in my generation to step up into leadership,” Woods said.
Woods and his family have a long history with the club and steps up to the top job after serving as secretary, and while first and second grade kick-started their preparations last week he says he’s excited to see what the Platypi can do in the other grades.
As it stands they’re still measuring interest levels by Woods said they are keen to try and field a women’s side in 2019’s Westfund Ferguson Cup, while the Platypi look likely to turn out a colts outfit too.
Central West’s under-19 division is reportedly set to break way and become a stand-alone competition, providing New Holland Agriculture Cup and Oilsplus Cup clubs the opportunity to field teams despite being in the second and third tiers.
It helps Forbes have that chance too, and Woods said they’re pushing hard to do so in a bid to bridge the gap between their junior and senior clubs.
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“The colts will run as a stand-alone competition this year,” Woods explained.
“Tom McLeay, who was new to us last year, is trying to rally the troops.”
Woods said any interested under-19 players are welcome to front at Grinsted Oval for training from 6.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as are interested women’s players.
Anyone interested can also follow the Platypi’s Facebook page for updates on the season ahead.
Outside Woods there is a mix of new and familiar faces on the club’s board. Tracey Prior continues as vice-president alongside Hall, with Jess Pagan and Kate Small taking on the treasurer and secretary roles respectively.
On the social front, preparations for the President’s lunch on March 23 are in full swing with author, actor, comedian and artist Anh Do this year’s guest speaker.
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