By ADAM HICKS
THE CASINO Cougars have started shopping for a captain/coach and are prepared to fork out up to $50,000 to turn around the club's fortunes.
With the backing of major sponsor and mother club Casino RSM Club, the Cougars have started advertising for a high-calibre candidate also capable of filling the director of football role.
Casino RSM sports co-ordinator Kenny Woodhams said it was not an attempt to buy a premiership but rather a move to better organise the club.
"The main objective is to get junior development right," Woodhams said.
"We've got 300 kids signed up as juniors and we need to give them every opportunity to go all the way in the game.
"Obviously we'd love to win the premiership. This won't lead to a grand final win immediately, but we're determined to get it right.
"If we can get the right person in and the results start flowing through it would be a shot in the arm for league in Casino."
Woodhams said a number of high-profile representative players had expressed interest but would not reveal the identities.
"We've been in contact with a couple of very well-known representative players, but we're not leaning one way or another," he said.
"We don't want to discourage anyone from applying for the position.
"It may even be that the positions are split between two people: one coach and one director of football."
Woodhams also wouldn't rule out upping player payments to attract top players from the area.
"We're keen to talk to anyone who believes they would be an asset to the football club," he said.
"We need to improve to move up to the top tier.
"Our thoughts are if we're going to be in this (Retravision Northern League) then let's be in it properly and do what we can to get this right.
"We are willing to increase expenditure on football and give Casino a team that they can be proud to follow."