New era for Sea Eagles
THE Whitsunday Sea Eagles will take to the field in their first official fixture at the Whitsunday Sports Park this weekend, under the guidance of a new captain and coach.
Former premiership winning captain Darren Crossley has taken over from out-going coach James McKenzie.
Crossley's first duty was to appoint a captain for the season ahead and 20-year-old Robert Whitton got the nod.
“It came as a bit of a shock,” Whitton said.
“I've got a lot to prove because they [the senior players] are what I've been wanting to be like since juniors.”
Although some may question the age of the new captain, Crossley said it was all part of his plan.
“I believe in having captains in the club that will be around for five to 10 years,” he said.
“I'd like to bring the culture to the club that I knew when I got here.
“It was the nicest footy club I'd been a part of.”
With the Sea Eagles first home game against the North Mackay Saints this weekend, Crossley said he was taking things, one step at a time.
“I think the season might start off a bit slow for us, but I see the potential to finish in the final three,” he said.
“Then finals footy can surprise anybody.
“But looking at the variety in the player list this year, I think it's going to be a good challenge with a lot of new players.
“We've got a very good mix.”
Crossley believes his success as a premiership coach and a 10 year association with the Sea Eagles will help him get the season off to a winning start this weekend.
The Sea Eagles first grade side will kick-off at 2.45pm this Saturday with reserves at 1.30pm.