QLD GPS: 2019 Nudgee College GPS Season Preview
Things couldn’t have gone much better for Nudgee in 2018, who remained undefeated on their way to claiming the outright GPS premiership.
But just four regular starters return from that side in 2019 and coach Andrew Scotney said we can expect to see a different Nudgee side this season.
Overview with Andrew Scotney:
“We had about 100 kids try out for the first XV and from that we picked a squad of about 40 to go away on an Easter camp. Then through the trial matches we started to get a better idea of our best XV.
“Last year we had 23 different guys start a game for us, so you need to build plenty of depth and we’re very fortunate in that regard. Our 2nd XV last year were outstanding and I think they’ll go well again in 2019.
“We might be a little younger this year than we have been in the past, with a few more year 11 boys in the side, but I’m pretty confident in the depth we’ve got.
“2018 was fantastic. To go undefeated and win the premiership was really special for the boys involved. We were confident of our chances going into the season because we knew we had talent and depth so it was nice to get the job done.
“But it’s a new season this year. We’ve only got four regular starters back from last year, then two other boys returning who played a little.
“Our trial form hasn’t been too bad. We beat Brisbane State and Churchie but we got a bit of a hiding from TSS, who we play next week. They beat us by about 20 points.
“We’ve had a few injuries to some key players through that trial period but that’s given us an opportunity to blood some guys who we might need throughout the season.”
“We’ve got two Australian Schoolboys returning in Reesjan Pasitoa and Harry Vella but they’ve both been injured through the trial period so we haven’t really seen them at all. We’re hopeful they’ll be right for round one.
“They’re both tremendous leaders. Harry is our captain and Reesjan is our No.10 and a great goal kicker. Besides both being great kids, they’re also great leaders and I think everyone within the squad looks up to them.
“We’ve also got Titi Nofoagatatoa and Trezman Banjo returning. Trezman has been injured in the preseason but Titi has been playing really strongly at No.8, he’s set for a big year.
“Those four guys are the leaders of the show, then we’ve got a lot of boys pushing up from the 16As, 15As and 2nd XV last year and they’re all really eager.
“Tevita Mapa at openside flanker has probably been one of our best in the trials. He’s from Victoria and played against the Reds U18s earlier this month. He’s trained really hard and taken his opportunities and has been a standout in the trials.”
Hopes and expectations for the season:
“Our hopes and expectations is always to win the thing but first things first, we just need to focus on on winning our first game, then our second,” Scotney said.
“We just need to keep getting better and I felt in the trials that we were a team that was improving each week. We’ve had a bit of a break now with the holidays but we play a trial against Gregory Terrace on Saturday and that will give us a bit of a yard stick as to how we’ve returned, then we’ll try to build on that ahead of round one.
“I think we’re a completely different type of team to last year in regards to our strengths so it’s going to be important that we set a benchmark on Saturday and then build on that from there.”
Bold prediction for 2019:
“My bold prediction is pretty easy, I think there will be a couple of upsets this year. I think it’ll be a tighter comp than it has been over the last few years and I think there are plenty of teams that have improved and have good players in year 12.
“That will probably mean that the competition really isn’t over until that last round.”