The 2013 Ron Massey Cup kicks off next weekend with 12 teams contesting this year’s competition and vying for premiership glory.
The competition, which has been renamed after legendary NSWRL official and coaching mentor, Ron Massey, kicks-off next weekend across Sydney and features a number of new teams.
The Western Suburbs Magpies, Guildford Owls and Asquith Magpies will make their debuts in the competition this season, with Asquith showing great pre-season form by contesting the final of the OAMPS Pre-Season Cup.
Speaking with NSWRL Media, Asquith Coach Paul Pollard believed the challenge of competing in the Ron Massey Cup would be beneficial to his club's future.
“To join a higher level of football is giving our kids something to aim for as a stepping stone towards higher grades,” said Pollard.
“We’ve been working hard to concentrate on running our drills a little faster and getting our players a little fitter in anticipation of what we are likely to face.”
Despite going down 46-26 to Auburn in the Pre-Season Final, Pollard was pleased with how his side were coming together for their Round One clash with Blacktown.
“It was great to see some of our new players in action and we still have 90% of our first-grade squad from last year… so I’m hopeful that will make things a little easier.”
Despite impressive displays from the new kids on the block, competition heavyweights Wentworthville, Cabramatta and The Entrance look set to field strong line-ups and contest for the Premiership once again.
In a warning to their rivals, Wentworthville Coach Alex Chan declared the Magpies didn’t reach their potential last year despite winning the premiership.
“Even though we got the result last season, we showed a lot of inconsistencies and I don’t think we realised our potential. We’re hoping to address that this year,” said Chan.
Chan insisted the expectation of being Premiers was unlikely to affect his side, with selecting a final seventeen the biggest challenge leading into Round One.
“I think we’re in a position at the moment where everyone is fighting really hard for a position in the side," Chan added
“There are a lot of young guys who have stepped up from Sydney Shield and showed some impressive form… so we’re more focused on internal competition than external.”
Despite mixed results in the pre-season, Chan expected the usual suspects to feature highly in this year’s competition.
“It’s hard to say early in the year, but Mounties and The Entrance are always strong… although looking at pre-season results some of the side’s you know to be strong have had inconsistencies like us so it’s shaping up as a huge year.”
Stay tuned to www.nswrl.com.au for more interviews, feature stories and match previews for the Ron Massey Cup throughout season 2013.