Ipswich Diggers coach Paul Lowe.
Ipswich Diggers coach Paul Lowe. David Nielsen

Lowe ready to make his mark

PAUL Lowe is the latest in a long line of coaches trying to get the Ipswich Diggers playing to their potential.

Lowe was recently announced as the replacement for Anthony Fowler, who has had to leave the role for personal reasons, as 2011 Diggers senior rugby league coach.

Last year the team was coached by Ipswich league legend and former NRL player Pat O’Doherty.

The year before it was Brothers’ IRL multiple premiership-winning coach Heath McQueen.

Both struggled to get the best available team on the paddock, which could also prove to be Lowe’s biggest challenge.

“I’m looking forward to taking over the role,” the former Ipswich Jets FOGS Cup coach said. “There’s still plenty of time to prepare.”

Ipswich takes on the Gold Coast on May 7 and Lowe wants to have a squad assembled several weeks before then.

“Definitely the challenge is having the best available and I hope I can achieve that,” he said.

“The IRL has looked at things in terms of scheduling so that should help.”

Lowe knows the quality of his team could come down to how persuasive he is.

“I’ll be approaching some of the senior players in the comp,” he said. “I’ve had some discussion with (Brothers players) Danny Coburn and Mat Cameron, who had some experience with the Queensland Rangers last year and is keen to play rep football again.

“My intention is to make contact with all the IRL coaches and sound out how well players are training and what sort of condition they’re in. After the first few rounds of football, with the other selectors we’ll pick a squad of 25.

“We’ve definitely got to have guys who are up for the challenge of playing at the next level beyond club football.

“Anyone who is keen for the challenge, I’m keen to take in.”

Lowe didn’t offer any specific ideas about what might have gone wrong with the Diggers in recent years, other than the obvious.

“I’ve only looked at it at a glance as a spectator,” he said.

“Maybe scheduling hasn’t helped and they’ve been unable to get the best players in the competition. With the amount of talent we have in Ipswich, it has been disappointing what has happened in the past.”

Even with the best Ipswich team available, the Diggers will have their work cut out for them beating Brisbane Division 2 and Gold Coast this season.

“Gold Coast are very strong,” Lowe said. “They’ve got no FOGS Cup this year (Tweed Heads and Burleigh) so that will strengthen their local comp.

“They were the best regional team in Queensland last year and the Brisbane Second Division side is always strong.

“Our aim will be to get the best team on the paddock and have them play to the best of their ability. If we do that, I always give them a chance.”

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