NSW CAS: 2019 Cranbrook CAS Season Preview

Under former Newington coach Brad Gill, Cranbrook head into the 2019 CAS season full of confidence after a number of impressive trial wins. 

The Eastern Suburbs side begin their campaign against Barker on Saturday and seem quietly confident that they can cause a few upsets this season. 

Overview with Brad Gill:

“Things are looking good at Cranbrook at the moment, the boys have been training well and they’re all really excited to get started this weekend,” Gill told Rugby News. 

“When it’s only one round, the pre season does draw out a bit with games that don’t carry any weight but now that the season is here, I think everyone is quite excited. 

“Our preseason has been good. I probably would have liked to play some tougher opposition in some of the games, because we won a few fairly convincingly. But then the last couple of games have been really good for us, particularly against St Greg’s and St Aloysius’.

“We had some questions asked of us in those last two trials and that’s what you want in preseason, so I was pleased with that and with how the boys responded. 

“I’ve come to the school this year from Newington so it’s hard for me to comment on, but there does seem to be some good energy around the school and within the sports department. 

“It’s always going to differ from year to year depending on the year group, but this year’s squad looks fairly strong. They were a young group last year and have learnt from those experiences and they’re keen to do well and have shown that during preseason.”

2019 Squad: 

“They’re a dedicated, tight group of mates. A lot of the guys have come through together since prep. A few came in later but most of them have played a lot of football together, not just at the school but also down at Easts and with other sides. 

“From that point of view, they’re a tight group and they’ve trained hard. When I turned up in January, they’d already been doing some pre season work on their own so it feels like that want to do well for the group and for the school.”

Key areas of improvement: 

“I think the key focus for me has been finding that consistency within their performance. 

“One of the things I noticed early on was that they’d sometimes go through waves in a game, as a lot of young sides do, but they probably lacked that killer instinct to close out games with a consistent effort all match.” 

Hopes and expectations for the season:

“I hope that the boys enjoy their football, first and foremost and that they enjoy their time together. 

“Our expectations are that we’ll challenge the opposition and I’m hoping we’ll surprise a couple sides along the way. 

“Looking at results, it’s going to be a tight comp. Waverley looks rather strong and Barker and Knox also look pretty good, they’ll be the top three sides I think.”

Bold prediction for 2019: 

“It’s a cliche but we really don’t want to look too far ahead. If we do, we’ll lose sight of what we’re trying to do. 

“We’re just focusing on Barker this weekend and after that, we’ll prepare for the next match, then spend the holidays getting ready for those final three games. I’m hoping we’ll do well and that we’ll be in an amongst it towards the end of the season. 

“But we’ll worry about Barker first and then see what happens after that.”