The Village Motors Dolphins received some unwelcome news over the weekend with the club’s 2018 premiership-winning captain Cameron Cullen suffering a season-ending knee injury.
The injury was sustained innocuously while participating in a charity touch football match.
Dolphins football general manager Grant Cleal told Dolphins Media about the news, which comes almost on the eve of the club’s premiership defence.
“Injuries are part of our game,” Cleal said.
“They will play a part in every club’s season and we are no different.
“We are disappointed for Cameron, but there is no good that comes from feeling sorry for ourselves when injury strikes.”
The Dolphins are no strangers to competing in the Intrust Super Cup despite having key personnel on the sidelines.
They played two thirds of last season without the experienced Nick Slyney, while Bryce Donovan missed half the season with a pectoral tear and subsequent surgery.
Prop Nathan Watts was also missing for seven weeks with a broken jaw; but the club were able to go on and claim their sixth Intrust Super Cup crown despite the heavy injury toll.
If coach Adam Mogg was concerned by the news, he certainly didn’t show it when speaking to Dolphins Media.
“It’s tough on Cullo, but he is experienced enough to know injury is always just around the corner, particularly when a player has strung a few seasons together without injury like he has,” Mogg said.
“We have a strong roster that covers any potential loss of a player in any position.
“Cullo’s injury leaves a hole, but the size of that hole will depend on how the remaining squad members react.”
The Dolphins do have some handy halves in their squad, including Bryce Donovan and Reece Braun who played in the BRL grand final team last season.
A player new to the club who might contest for the No.7 jersey is Gerard McCallum, who, although playing in the fullback position the past couple of years, has also spent time at halfback.
Cleal said the club wished Cullen all the best for a speedy recovery from his upcoming surgery and the hard rehabilitation work ahead.
“We are certain he will still play a part in the club’s desire to go back to back in the competition,” Cleal said.
Match: Pride v Dolphins
Round 1 -
Venue: Barlow Park, Cairns