Two retired veterans and an ex-powerlifter wouldn’t be at the top of the recruitment list for most coaches; but that’s exactly who Carina mentor Peter Edwards has called on in the Brisbane Rugby League.
Edwards, previously involved with Easts Tigers’ Colts side, has assembled a squad of varying experience.
“We only got the go-ahead that we were in the BRL in about November, so we were behind the eight-ball from the beginning when it came to recruitment and training,” he said.
“Before Christmas we had about six guys at training … it’s been a challenge, but we’ve got a great bunch of guys and it’s one we’re enjoying.”
Edwards reunited with Colts premierships winners Chris Cook, Brandan Purcell and Steve Tyrrell, who left the game to take up powerlifting.
“When we got him, he was about 128kg of pure muscle, but he couldn’t run … he’s on the right track now and getting better each week.”
However, convincing the experienced Kev Stephensen and Isaac Kauffman to come out of retirement was the most important piece of the puzzle.
“I was having a weekend with Kev and few others blokes over at Stradbroke Island and we were talking about the team.
“Kev said he’d only play if Kauffy was and Kauffy was the same. So I called Kauffy and told him Kev was in and managed to convince them both.
“But in all seriousness, they’ve been fantastic for the younger guys and the club. They both do work with our juniors … they’ve jumped right in. I don’t think we could have done it without them.”
Kaufmann’s form saw him earn a call-up to Intrust Super Cup for a depleted Easts Tigers side last weekend.
“To be honest we probably didn’t expect it,” Edwards said.
“But Trigger (Easts coach, Craig Ingebrigtsen) has always been great with us and said if someone is playing well enough, they’re a chance.”
With two wins and a draw from their past three starts, Carina are starting to see reward for their efforts.
They take on Valleys this weekend as the curtain raiser to the Intrust Super Cup clash between Norths Devils and Sunshine Coast Falcons at Bishop Park.
“Valleys have proven that they can score points, so we’ll have to be switched on defensively,” Edwards said.
“They have a habit of being able to hang in and keep coming at you… we want to make sure we start well.”
In other fixtures, West Brisbane Panthers meet an imposing Logan Brothers side set to be strengthened by the expected return veteran of lock Trevor Exton.
After stunning Wynnum Manly Redland City last round, Gaters travel to Purtell Park to take on Normanby on Saturday afternoon.
Redcliffe put Valleys to the sword last weekend, but face a much tougher proposition against Wynnum Manly at BMD Kougari Oval, while Easts host the ladder-leading Jets.
Saturday, June 20
Valleys Diehards v Carina at Bishop Park - 2.30pm
West Brisbane Panthers v Logan Brothers at Kev McKell Oval - 3.30pm
Normanby Hounds v Gaters at Purtell Park - 4.00pm
Sunday, June 21
Wynnum Manly Redland City v Redcliffe Dolphins at BMD Kougari Oval - 11.45am
Live Stream: livestream.com/accounts/9436031/events/4136645
Easts Tigers v Ipswich Jets at Tapout Energy Stadium - 12.15pm