Brothers turn to Adam Mayes
INCOMING Marist Brothers rugby league coach Adam Mayes is aware of the challenges that await him.
Mayes will mentor the Rams in what he says will be their 100th year and the expectations to deliver some silverware are high.
While the club has some big anniversary celebrations in store, 2012 will also be the ninth year Brothers have gone without lifting a first-grade premiership trophy.
They won five straight from 1997 to 2001 and another followed in 2003 but since the formation of the NRRRL in 2005, the Lismore club has not enjoyed a grand final victory.
Last winter Brothers missed out on the finals, finishing seventh in a frustrating year.
Despite their record in recent years, Mayes is excited at what the Rams can do next winter.
He returns to the club after being an assistant coach at the Evans Head Bombers for three seasons.
"We'll be the first Country Rugby League club to turn 100 so it'll be a big year," he said.
"Hopefully we can do enough to contend for the semi-finals because it's been a while.
"Good defence is the cornerstone to any successful football team and that will take priority."
Things are already looking promising.
The Rams have fielded interest from big and fast Fijian outside back NikoVakararawa and backrower Damian Bryant.
Both are looking to play for Brothers again after a break from football.
Tasmanian State cricketer Brendan Drew's oldest brother Jason will assist Mayes following former coach David Krause's decision to move to Brisbane.
"David left some good things in place at the club and hopefully I can build on that," Mayes said.
The club's junior system is strong - Will Bugden, Blake Carter and Luke Baker all went to Sydney to pursue professional careers after impressing this year.
Dual rugby league and rugby union NSW Country representative Craig Whitby will coach Brothers' reserve grade and Terry Dardengo will take the role with the Under-18s, assisted by Mark Rowbotham.
Marist Brothers will hold their annual general meeting on Sunday at Tommys starting at 2pm.
Pre-season touch football will begin next Thursday from 5.30pm at Crozier Field.
Ballina Seagulls have appointed their former Under-18 premiership-winning coach Greg Barnes as first- grade coach for next season
Barnes replaces Don Dickson, who did not reapply for the position.
Barnes was Brian Battese's assistant coach when the Seagulls reached the grand final in 2010.
The reserve grade coach next season will be successful junior coach Steve Colman and Paul Tagget will again look after the Under-18s.