In the lead up to the 2014 VB NSW Cup season, we will shine the spotlight on all 13 competing teams to see how they are shaping up for the year ahead.
Today we take a look at the Wentworthville Magpies.
Head Coach: Brett Cook
Home Ground: Ringrose Park & Pirtek Stadium
Year Entered Competition: 2008
2013 Result: 8th - (11 wins and 13 losses)
2014 Key Signings: Evander Cummins (St George Illawarra Dragons), David Gower (Manly Sea Eagles), Liam Foran (Salford Red Devils), Justin Hunt (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Brenden Santi (Wests Tigers) & Nathan Peats (South Sydney Rabbitohs).
Another side in 2014 that is potentially brimming with young talent is the Wentworthville Magpies.
The Magpies were probably caught up a little in the ructions of Parramatta’s poor season on and off the park in 2013, however according to Wenty head coach, Brett Cook, the arrival of Brad Arthur and a host of new signings over the break has seen the landscape change significantly.
“There is a great attitude there at the moment and they (squad) are working really hard,” Cook said.
“At Wenty we have a squad of about 30 contracted players who have also been doing everything asked of them.
“The depth we will have should be strong and there will plenty of competition to play VB NSW Cup week in and week out.”
A large reason for this increased depth is the emergence of a number of young players at the club, with many of them home grown, and some of them targeted acquisitions.
“Joseph Ualesi, Daniel Alvaro and Zach Dockar-Clay have all been impressive training with Parramatta after having played NYC last year and then players like Brenden Santi (Tigers), Toby Evans (Panthers) and Evander Cummins (Dragons) have also joined us over the off season.”
With a fresh start and a new NRL coach leading the charge at Parra, the push for spots in the top grade should see a number of players trying to impress in the lower grades, and hopefully this will translate into consistent performances for the Wenty VB NSW Cup side.
After having just squeaked into the top eight each of the past two seasons, the Magpie faithful will be hopeful of seeing their side establish themselves as one of the competitions leading chances in 2014.
According to the coach though, this will be easier said than done.
“The competition is getting stronger every year so we will need to be competitive every single week.
“If we can be consistent and play to our potential then a top eight finish is our first goal.
“Then a new competition starts and as we have seen in the past, anything can happen from there.”
Wenty will participate in upcoming trials against Mounties, Penrith and Manly before kicking off their 2014 campaign with a Round One match up against the Warriors at Belmore Sports Ground on March 8th.