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Dennis ready for Moore with Maroochydore

A lot has happened in Dennis Moore's rugby league career since he first wore Kingaroy Red Ants colours in 1970.

Returning to the region where it all began as a special guest for the Beyond the Nest development camp at the weekend, the South Burnett old boy has forged a formidable coaching metier at all levels of the game.

Starting off in charge of the Red Ants in 1986, his time as a first grade chief hit a pinnacle in 2003 when coaching the Queensland and Australian under 19s, before heading south to the Northern Beaches as Des Hasler's assistant.

“I’ve been around," Moore joked.

“I had five good years at Manly before coming back up here to run the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles who are now of course the Falcons.

"I then went to Hull FC in 2010 before coming back in 2011 to start working for the QRL in development.

Moore coached the 2003 Queensland Under 19s, defeating New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium.
Moore coached the 2003 Queensland Under 19s, defeating New South Wales at Suncorp Stadium.

"I then went to Aspley for a year and a bit as an ops manager [in 2013] and then out to Emerald where I coached the mighty Tigers [in 2015].

"In 2016, I went to Gladstone for three years coaching Valleys and the Gladstone rep side before finishing back up down here to get back closer to Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast where my grandkids are, so it’s all fallen back into shape and I’m back coaching Maroochydore."

After taking the reins in his second stint at the helm of the Swans just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenge this year has been to rebuild after the Sunshine Coast senior competition opted not to play on after the hiatus last season.

“The boys haven't been up to much from what I can gather, but a lot of them are keen as now after missing out a year," Moore said.

"Quite a few have come out of the woodwork too, so our stocks have bolstered because of it.

"Last year, we got a good pre-season in and one trial and then it all finished, so I take that as an undefeated season. We didn’t win the trial, but you don’t get points for that, so we were undefeated last year…  but so was every other team that didn’t play last year, but that doesn’t matter – you don’t tell people that.

"But a lot of boys have come back though. We’ve got a good roster and a lot of good people.

"I’m just excited for it. It’s a good time for the club."

Recently announcing a few key signings - including Swans juniors Wil Solway and Tim Ross and former Sunshine Coast Falcon Rohan Messer - Moore is pleased with the club's roster that has been assembled.

"We’ve got some good play makers that have come through that are locals and we have a few big boys that have turned up," Moore said.

"I just think there are some good quality fellas that are in our top 20 at this point.

"A lot still have to be worked out through the trials process, but I’m pretty happy with where we are at the moment."

Since emphatically winning the title in 2018, the Swans experienced a lull the following year after a number of the club's stalwarts chose to hang up the boots, but the experienced coach said a few of those players had returned in the hope of premiership glory.

Maroochydore Swans celebrate the 2018 Sunshine Coast A Grade premiership.
Maroochydore Swans celebrate the 2018 Sunshine Coast A Grade premiership.

"There was a little bit of a changing of the guard, but there are still a core group coming through. A few quality players were sort of drifting away, but have now come back," Moore said.

"All in all, we’re going okay at the moment."

Starting his 2021 season by giving back to the area that gave him his start, Moore said he enjoyed giving pointers to the new generation of players. 

"The quality of players has gone through the roof [since I was last here] and I just like coming back and helping out," Moore said.

"It’s the old stomping ground and I can also come back and relive a few tries that I let in… none of course that I scored."