Gladiators up to the challenge
IT will take more than a flood to dent the resolve of the Goodna rugby union club.
The Gladiators are looking to put the devastation from the January floods behind them with a successful 2011 Barber Cup campaign.
The 2008 premiers and 2009 runners-up will field one and possibly two senior teams this season, despite losing all their equipment when their Evan Marginson Oval home ground was submerged by floodwaters.
“We've lost everything,” club vice-president Andrew McKenzie said.
“Equipment, kit, gear, computer, fridges, freezers.
“We're in the laps of the gods.
“The clubhouse is unusable because the insulation is contaminated.”
The good news is the field should be ready for the opening round of the Barber Cup, scheduled for March 19.
The club also has a new coach in former player Mino Pesamino, who takes over from Les Shine.
Pesamino's job has been made tougher by the floods.
The players have been training at the old Dinmore State School and making do without tackling bags or pads.
It means they are under-prepared and have been unable to organise any pre-season trials ... but Pesamino is not worried.
“It's coming too late for trials,” he said. “We didn't know if we had a team until three weeks ago.
“But I think the boys will come together.
“I'm not really worried about trial matches.
“Just getting a team to keep it going is more important.”
Despite the late start, Pesamino is impressed by the numbers that have shown up and their attitude.
“There are a lot of new faces,” last year's Goodna Reserve grade coach said.
As such it is too early to predict what the strength is like or what sort of game they will play.
With 48-year-old Pesamino being a former Goodna front rower, he can be expected to place an emphasis on the Gladiators' traditional strength – physical dominance, particularly in the forwards.
“That's what we always try to do,” Pesamino said. “But we've got some new players in the backs so we will be looking for some ball movement.”