QLD GPS: Brisbane Boys’ College 2019 GPS Season Preview
By Finn Morton
BBC Coach Shane Drahm is confident that 2019 is the year that the College end their 64-year Premiership drought after a successful pre-season.
Drahm has focused on developing his players’ mental resilience as they head into another campaign carrying plenty of expectation as one of the teams to beat.
Overview with Shane Drahm:
“We’re pretty happy. We’ve tried and tested a number of new things this year based on the type of players we have in the squad. I think that the way we’ve prepped them, we’re trying to peak in the first game this week. We’re pretty happy with where we are at the moment,” said Drahm.
“We haven’t played with a full team yet, a full-strength team. We put a lot of things in place this year; partly stuff on the field and things off the field. We’re right where we wanted to be at the moment.
“We knew that we would be a good chance this year, we knew it would be spoken about [BBC’s Premiership chances]. On that, we chose to face it front on rather than the boys reading about it on websites or wherever.
“We’ve worked with how you deal with the pressure, and how we become a stronger team mentally.
“Typically, my coaching style if an exciting brand of Rugby. We won’t be changing a whole lot, but obviously we have to access the opposition every week and see where there are opportunities and threats.”
“We’ve got a number [of players] returning. Some placed first last year while some were in the squad, some came off the bench.
“In terms of players to watch, I think George Gibson is going to be good. We’ve got a couple of leaguies, Jack Bowyer, but everyone is pretty aware of those guys.
“We’re pretty happy with the strength across the whole fifteen, but there a few that single out. Jacob Blyton, our captain, is an exceptional player who will lead from the front.”
Key areas of improvement:
“What we didn’t do last year was dealing with pressure in key moments. We put a lot of time into developing their decision making and their assessment of the game.
“As the game flows on, we want the boys to be able to access how the game is going as it’s happening. It’s not a typical attitude of a schoolboy, they’re still pretty inexperienced and young.
“That’s why we chose to put it out there [Premiership expectations]. We knew that it would be spoken about whether it was in the newspapers or through word of mouth.
“What we didn’t want to happen is everyone talking about BBC’s chances and potentially being favourites – but nobody really wants the favourite tag. We’ve decided to deal with it, put it out there, set it as a goal.
“We’re not playing for second or third.”
Hopes and expectations for the season:
“We’ve always had a goal to win. No player plays for the first fifteen not wanting to win it.
“I think we’ve put a lot more time and effort into how we are going to achieve it. Setting team standards and dealing with their mental capacity.”
Bold prediction for 2019:
“I remember my first year at BBC and one of my years at Nudgee where the comp was very evenly spread. There were no easy games.
“Typically at first fifteen [level] you have a couple of easy ones, or maybe three of four easy ones. So I think this year every match is going to be tough. There are a lot of good sides.
“It’s going to be a really tough one to win.”