Chris Kerkow charges through the training drills.
Chris Kerkow charges through the training drills. Keagan Elder

A flying start to South Burnett U43kg coach's debut year

LIKE a farmer, Robert Zelinski hoped his crop of players would be the best of the season.

Zelinski put his hand up to coach the South Burnett U43kg rugby league squad this year in the bid to lift the 50th anniversary championship in June.

In his first year, he has dealt with players away from his home team of Murgon and he not only had to come to terms with different play styles, he also had to memorise a team sheet of new names.

But he took this on the chin on Sunday morning after more than 20 young hopefuls made their way to the Wondai ground in a bid to be scribbled onto the team sheet.

"It was pretty well spread, we had players from Nanango, Murgon, Wondai and Cherbourg," Zelinski said.

"But there were no Kingaroy players, which was unusual."

While Zelinski was not entirely sure of how the South Burnett did in previous years, he said he did have a better crop of players to choose from.

"We've got a better standard of boys than last year; I don't think they won many games last year.

"It was just a matter of picking the ones that stood out above the rest."

After the trial, Zelinski and his selectors picked 22 players to play in the carnival, dependent on those available after the school Wide Bay state championship held at the same time.

To overcome the difficulties of building a team from a number of clubs, Zelinski will try and familiarise his players with weekly training on Sunday.

This will build in intensity towards the U43kg carnival with two training sessions proposed for the weeks before.

"We've got to get the forwards organised and spread the ball out," Zelinski said.

Junior competitions

  • The U35kg carnival will be played at Charleville on June 28
  • A team of 12 will be sent to Charleville
  • Murgon will hold the U43kg carnival over July 5-10
  • 22 have been selected for U43kg, but a final 17 will be selected after the U11 Wide Bay trials at the weekend
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