With the 2013 VB NSW Cup season fast approaching, NSWRL.com.au spoke with Wyong Roos Coach Paul Stringer to discuss his sides preparation and expectations leading into their first season in the competition.
After a decade in the Newcastle Rugby League, the Roos have made the difficult decision to join the VB NSW Cup and without assistance from a NRL feeder team, are confident they can succeed as a stand alone entity.
Below is the transcript from the interview.
Paul, you have had tremendous success in your career as a player and coach, highlighted by the Premiership (Newcastle Rugby League) you won with this club (Wyong) back in 2009 but it’s probably fair to say that the 2013 VB NSW Cup season may be one of your toughest challenges yet. With the trials only a few weeks away, do you feel that your young side is ready to take this next step (VB NSW Cup)?
I wouldn't necessarily say it’s my toughest challenge, but it will be a challenge nonetheless. To be fair the teams not ready to go right now, but come Round One they will be.
Just looking at some of your signings (signings can be found at the bottom of this article) for 2013, there are names there that fans of the competition will already know, such as Mitch Williams, Steve Naughton and Etu Uaisele, but tell us about a few of the guys who we may not be so familiar with that have impressed the coaching staff during the pre-season.
We have Jay Florimo, who previously played with the Bears and also with us at Wyong last year. He’s a terrific player, always consistent and has been training the house down. Kurt Foggo is a backrower we’ve secured who was playing VB NSW Cup last year out at Penrith… he was previously a Titans U20’s player and I’ve been really impressed with his training and the physical attributes he possesses. We also have Daine Laurie who was with the Knights last year and Penrith before that. He’s really knuckled down at training and worked hard to get himself down to a great playing weight.
There have already been some suggestions that not being able to call on excess NRL talent from week to week, may leave your side struggling to be competitive like the Wests Magpies in 2012. What makes you confident that the Roos will be successful in 2013 and secondly how are you looking at measuring that success?
Measuring success is being competitive every week. Obviously it’s our first time in this competition and we’re not going in it to be easy beats. I’m not one to go out and make outlandish statements and claim that we’re going to make the semi’s… but I’m quietly confident that we’re going to be a very competitive side with the squad that we have.
Certainly one thing that you have in your favour is a wonderful support staff at Wyong. For instance your former Northern Eagles team mate, Matt Orford, is an assistant coach. Give us an insight into the affect that he has had on the side already and perhaps even on your own coaching.
Matty Orford is learning… it’s his first year in a coaching role and he’s doing really well. He’s very knowledgeable and he’s the closest person we have who has been involved with that higher level of football recently. We also have Brice Johnson as our Strength and Conditioning Coach, who worked with the Roosters for the past two years… the three of us have really gelled and we’re working well together. The few guys in our squad who have NRL experience have actually commented on how much they've been enjoying training and the systems we have in place… We’re leaving no stone un-turned that’s for sure.
There is certainly some wonderful support behind the Wyong Roos already in terms of the backing of the club and having access to excellent facilities. There has always been such wonderful support for Rugby League in general on the Central Coast. Are you hopeful of this translating into some great crowds at Morry Breen in 2013?
In fairness our crowds haven’t always been the strongest, but we’re hoping that by being involved in this competition, it will create the opportunity for people to watch high quality football and generate a strong interest around the team. We've been getting a few people around to watch training and once we start playing and the local media get involved we’re hopeful it will turn into something positive for the area.
Well it will certainly be a baptism of fire so to speak once the competition points are up for grabs in early March as you guys are set to host the Newcastle Knights in Round One. No doubt that this clash may mean a little more than just the two points given who you will be playing and the fact it will be your first match in the comp. Are you looking forward to forging a rivalry with the Knights?
I’m not really looking to forge any rivalries at this stage… I’m just looking for the boys to go out there and put in a great performance. It won’t be the end of the world if we don’t get the two points in our very first game, but we’ll definitely be out there busting our chops to kick our season off on the right track. It’s more about being competitive and showing the Rugby League world that we’re in this competition for the long haul and we’re in there to play some good football and be competitive.
Well Paul we wish you and your team all the best for your inaugural season and we can’t wait to see the Wyong Roos in action over the coming months.
Click here to view all Wyong and VB NSW Cup teams trials for 2013
Find below all of Wyong's signings for 2013 as of article's published date.
Justin Toomey- White
Allen Mulia Malau