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New Batemans Bay senior coach Tim Del Guzzo is well aware of the rugby league potential within the area.
In his job as an NRL Development Officer, he helps foster the next generation of players within the region.
It is the current crop who will have his attention when the Group 16 season starts, however, as the team look to rebound from a winless 2016.
The 34-year-old said there are promising signs already for the club this year, including the resigning of last year’s captain/coach Mason Harrison.
“They may not have won any matches, but there were positive aspects to their game,” he said.
“Mason did a good job with the young blokes, so we are looking to build upon that, and hopefully challenge for the semi finals.”
“When the committee approached me, it seemed as though they had a fairly solid plan in place for where they want to go over the next couple of years.”
When the committee approached me, it seemed as though they had a fairly solid plan in place for where they want to go over the next couple of years.- Tim Del Guzzo
Originally from Leeton, Del Guzzo moved to the South Coast in late 2015 to continue his role as a development officer, replacing Matt Cross.
His appointment at the Tigers is his first senior head coaching role, having previously been an assistant coach at Leeton, while also coaching at a junior level as part of his job.
Del Guzzo said he aims to take the position one step at a time.
“I just want to see improvement,” he said.
“It’s silly to set a lofty goal this early on.
“We’ll have a solid pre-season, play a couple of trials and then see where we are at.
“We aim to keep reassessing throughout the season.”
One of the main talking points of the 2016 Group 16 season was the success of the Tigers’ cross-town rivals, Moruya, who were awarded Country Rugby League prestigious Clayton Cup after an undefeated season.
Del Guzzo pointed to the local derby as one of the key fixtures for his side in 2017.
“I think the Sharks are a good indication of the quality of the Group 16 competition,” he said.
“From a professional point of view, I want both Moruya and Batemans Bay to be strong in rugby league, and from a community perspective, it’s great to have both sides going well.
“There’s nothing like a fierce local derby.”
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