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Capras legend ready to tackle unexpected opportunity

When Guy Williams last played for the Central Queensland Capras, he was the news breaker... but today, he is the news maker.

Signing on the dotted line to take the reins from outgoing coach David Faiumu, it can be said the club's most capped player is an ideal fit for the organisation he's devoted more than a decade to.

"I've got a lot of history with the club and central Queensland. I grew up here watching the Capras play and got the opportunity to play for them as I got a bit older," the newly-announced head coach said.

"There's a lot of good people within the club and a lot of good people who have been involved in the past who are no longer involved as well.

"I've got some good memories with the Capras and I'm keen to extend that relationship.

"I started as a fan before being a player and now I'm the coach."

After 260 Intrust Super Cup matches - 238 of them in Central Queensland colours - the former Capras stalwart feels he was always destined to take the helm after his recent stint with the Norths Devils.

"I played in the Intrust Super Cup for a long, long time and over the last couple of years, I've been at the Norths Devils and was assistant coach to Rohan Smith and learned plenty," Williams said.

Williams running out for Norths Devils in 2018.
Williams running out for Norths Devils in 2018.

"I don't know if it was him or whether coaching was something I've always wanted to do.

"But [after coaching at Norths], I've always wanted to be an Intrust Super Cup coach.

"Maybe this opportunity has come a little bit earlier than I expected but when it did come up, I wanted to take it; so I'm looking forward to it.

"I didn't expect it to happen at the moment, but it was always something in the back of my mind that I wanted to coach the team here."

Even in his years away from his stomping ground, Williams kept a close eye on the club he loved.

"When I was at Norths over the last few years, I would always keep in touch with people here and on top of who the Capras were playing and how they were going, who they'd signed, and who was playing for them at the moment," Williams said.

"They've always had a soft spot in my heart... in fact, a big part of my heart."

Coming off the back of a tough 2019 season, the new statesmen is hoping a continued focus on development will help deliver a more promising year for the talent-rich area.

"It's about developing the skill level here, and I know it's something we can't just do with the Intrust Super Cup players either. It has to be something we're doing with the under 14s and 16s and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup and Hastings Deering Colts squads," Williams said.

Williams played 238 Intrust Super Cup games for the Central Queensland Comets / Capras.
Williams played 238 Intrust Super Cup games for the Central Queensland Comets / Capras.

"If we can lift there and get some of those talented kids - because there are plenty of those in the region - aspire to play in the Intrust Super Cup for the Capras on their way to an NRL contract somewhere, I think it'd be a great result for the club.

"We need to have that development approach to the players here, because there are a lot of talented players who just need a bit of fine-tuning and a little bit of work, and some just need an opportunity too."

Williams is also hoping to continue building a good club culture to strengthen the desire for young and upcoming prospects to stay and grow through the Capras' pathway.

"It's about making those 16 and 17 year old kids feel like they're a part of the club and I think that's a really important age group because there are opportunities to go to Brisbane or Sydney or even somewhere else," Williams said.

"I'm not going to step in someone's way if that's what they really want to do, but I think if we strengthen the relationship with those players there, they may feel there's a really good opportunity here at the Capras to develop and play some footy.

"There's a pathway there so they don't have to move away to play Intrust Super Cup before hopefully progressing through to the NRL because they can do all that from here."

The Capras are set to play two trial matches ahead of their season opener against Tweed; travelling to Mackay to face the Cutters on February 20 before hosting the Sunshine Coast Falcons in Gladstone on February 27.