THE Moruya Sharks have signalled their intent to go one better this year in their quest for a Group 16 premiership by announcing the signing of former Broulee Dolphin Pat McMahon.
McMahon, who starred for the Dolphins rugby union side in its premiership season last year, will bolster what looks to be an already exciting Sharks backline.
The strong and speedy centre, who racked up an unprecedented 220 points for the Dolphins last season, will join youngsters Joel Pietsch and Dillon Johnston – both with the Bay Tigers last season – as Moruya’s newest additions.
“I’m relishing the prospect of playing with the boys that took us to a minor premiership in 2012, while welcoming some new lads with some fresh ideas to our ranks,” first grade captain Tim Weyman said.
“Patty’s size and speed is sure to create some headaches for opposition defences, and we’re confident that he can make the transition to the 13-a-side game.”
The club was also “pleased to announce” that it has retained the bulk of last year’s playing group, with senior players Weyman, Justin Bell, Aaron Brierley, Shane Colebrook, Sam Sellick and Dean Scott all signed and primed for a big 2013.
Moruya is preparing to “hit the paddock running” when pre-season training gets underway on January 29 at Ack Weyman Oval from 6pm.
All current and prospective players are asked to attend this session, where they will have the chance to meet the committee and new coaching staff.
New club coach Neil Williams is said to be keen to have a look at his playing group and will “come prepared with some fresh ideas and heaps of enthusiasm”.
Williams recently spent some time as a guest of Steve Price and Craig Young from St George Illawarra, as they went through their training drills and preparation for the season, and is keen to implement some of his newfound knowledge at the Sharks.
Last year’s Group 16 reserve grade player of the year, Charlie Nye, returns to the club to coach reserve grade, and the Sharks are “looking forward to another big year to follow their dual first grade and reserve grade minor premierships last year”, club spokesman John Cornall said.
“The Sharks are also determined to field an under 18s side in 2013, with Tim Weyman as coach, and interest and numbers appear to be high.
“Any boys wishing to play should come along on Tuesday and introduce themselves to Tim, who is sure to make them welcome.”
The popular Sharkettes women’s league tag side is also preparing for its second season and Cornall said the ladies are “keen to prove that their great end-of-season form was no fluke”.
“The girls improved right throughout 2012, and with a lot of interest from old and new players, the future looks good for the team being a real force in the premiership this year.”
Meanwhile, club president Justin Zutt said the club encourages all players, junior, senior and girls, to attend on Tuesday for the start of the 2013 campaign.
“The feel and enthusiasm this year is just as good as last year and we are starting from a much better base than last year.”