Season Preview: Southport Sharks
We take a look at how Southport is going after a busy off-season.
Powerhouse club, Southport, returned to the finals in 2012 and the Sharks will be looking to better that this season.
Senior coach Norm Dare said he had introduced more running into the pre-season program to mix it up for 2013.
“We did some time trials this season, which I don’t normally do,” he said.
“After a couple of years of doing similar things, players can become a bit stale so this revitalises the group a bit.
“There were a couple, after the first night, who came up to me and said ‘Why are we running?’”
The Sharks will have to overcome the loss of key forward and rising talent, Fraser Thurlow (Labrador), as well as former GWS Giant Adam Flagg.
Despite these losses, the Sharks have done well for themselves with their recruiting, headed by the signing of former St Kilda and Gold Coast Suns player, Andrew McQualter.
Former Ainslie player, Jesse Griffin, has also travelled north to join the Sharks in what should be a pretty handy addition to the side.
The Sharks will be looking to a number of younger players cover the departures of 2012 rising stars Thurlow and Flagg this season.
Queensland Under-21 representative, Stephen Thynne, is one youngster that Dare expects to have a big year.
As well as Thynne, Dare nominated Zac Callinan and Brock Askey as younger players to keep an eye on this year.
Dare said he was impressed with the way the players had embraced the pre-season, and already some younger players have been starting to put their hands up.
“It’s really good to see some of the younger blokes improve,” he said.
With a bit of change at the Sharks this year, Dare said he was not focusing on anyone area of their game specifically.
“We focus all over the ground on attack and defence – I usually allow the players to play,” he said.
“It’s a bit hard when your team changes.
“You hope the blokes are not hit too hard with injuries and that they accept the challenge presented to them.”
Southport opens its 2013 account against Aspley at Fankhauser Reserve on March 23.
Southport 2013 INS