Coach Bell confident of strong season ahead for league reps

TEAM WORK: Central Highlands rugby league team coach Steve Bell (front, left) and under-20s coach PJ Marsh.
TEAM WORK: Central Highlands rugby league team coach Steve Bell (front, left) and under-20s coach PJ Marsh. Rebekah Polley

IT IS STILL early days for the Central Highlands rugby league team but a broad mix of talent from around the region has coach Steve Bell confident of winning results this season.

A meet-and-greet training session was held recently at McIndoe Park in Emerald with coach Steve Bell, who has returned for another year at the helm.

"I coached the side last year - there are a few from last year and some new guys," Bell said.

"That's what the day is about - getting to know each other.

"There's a broad mixture and a good amount of talent from each town... from Emerald, Bluff, Middlemount, Dysart, Tieri and Clermont."

He said he hoped team members would get to know each other and get in some training before the first game against Gladstone.

"It will be good to see how they train," he said.

"To see what they need for improvement and what their strengths are when games come."

Bell said last year the representative side played a good half but failed to play the full 80 minutes, something he hoped to improve this season. The side will have another training session but Bell

explained it was hard to get all the players together, due to factors like shift work.

He said distance was another factor.

Compared to the Rockhampton and Gladstone representative teams, Bell said the Central Highlands team travelled a great deal more, with players averaging up to two hours of travel for a match.

"It makes it difficult for us but hopefully we will overcome that," Bell said.

Coach of the Central Highlands under-20 side, PJ Marsh, echoed Bell's sentiments, after he had to fit the meet-and-greet afternoon around his night shifts.

"I was hoping for a few more numbers but it's always going to be like this with shift work and apprenticeships," Marsh said.

Marsh said the first session would be spent meeting the players and determining their availability.

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