UNDERESTIMATE us at your peril. That’s the warning sent to the George Tooke Shield from incoming Highlanders coach Michael Brown.
The former Bulldogs back rower takes over the reins at a critical time in the club’s short history.
The Highlanders this year failed to field a team and have just two wins to show for their four seasons of hard work.
Even so Brown is confident his team can shake history and vie for the semi-finals in 2013.
“We’ve got a pretty good side coming down here, a few of the boys from reggies at the Bulldogs are coming over,” he said.
“A few more wins than they’ve had in previous years would be a start.”
The coach’s hopes for a semi-final berth are match by that of the board. President Mick Gordon, a founding member of the club back in 2008, believes the team has the cattle to challenge for the top four.
The club’s finances are in good stead too. Gordon said the Highlanders had five major sponsors lined-up for the 2013 season.
First thing’s first: the Highlanders need to assemble a squad and begin pre-season training.
Brown, a rookie coach, expects his charges to get stuck early in the new year.
“Pretty much straight after Christmas, we’ll get stuck into it,” he said.
“I’ve played plenty of footy, but never coached, so it’ll be a challenge for me. I’m looking forward to it.”
The status of the George Tooke Shield has suffered with the withdrawal of the Binalong Brahmans, premiers in 2010, the Exchange Rabbitohs and the West Belconnen Warriors.
The competition will be bolstered by the introduction of the Yass Magpies, semi-finalists in this year’s Canberra Raiders Cup demoted due to a lack of players.
Brown expects the Magpies and Harden Hawks to be tough toss in 2013.
The Harman Seadogs and ADFA Knights, the only two teams the Highlanders have beaten in their five year history, are set to again line-up next season.
The Highlanders will be eager to repeat history when they face the Knights and Seadogs in the new year.
THE BOSSES: Highlanders president Mick Gordon welcomes new captain-coach Michael Brown.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.