It could be our year: Broncos
AN NRL premiership is one of the few things missing from the CV of Broncos star Alex Glenn after a breakout 2011 season.
The 22-year-old became the youngest captain in the club's history when he led the team out against Canberra and Parramatta - for two wins - while the usual leadership group was on Origin duty.
Also, he completed an almost perfect season when he represented New Zealand in the Four Nations series in England, playing in all three games against Australia, Wales and England.
While Glenn said it was disappointing to miss the final of that series after losing to both Australia and England, it had been a fantastic experience.
"It was awesome playing at Wembley ... such a great atmosphere with all the singing from the fans," he said.
"We stayed on and went to a couple of soccer games - one at Liverpool and one at Blackpool.
"That was a great experience too."
Speaking at a coaching clinic at Maroochydore yesterday, Glenn said he was confident the Broncos could put the departure of inspirational skipper Darren Lockyer behind them this season and make up for the disappointment of last year's preliminary final loss to Manly.
"It definitely wasn't the way we wanted to end the season. When the Warriors made the grand final, a lot of us thought that should have been us after we thrashed them in the first week of the finals," he said.
"We do have the team that can win it this year."
The second-rower said while Lockyer was gone, improvement would come from several other areas.
"We had a lot of players who debuted last year. They got a taste of what it's about and the experience will help them this year," Glenn said.
"Guys like Dale Copley and Aaron Whitchurch have really bulked up over summer and they'll be looking for more game time.
"And the general fitness levels are definitely the best in my time at the club."
With centre Justin Hodges reportedly fully fit, and emerging stars Jharal Yow Yeh, Corey Norman, Jack Reed, Gerard Beale and Josh Hoffman ready to step up a level, the backline looks to have an abundance of firepower.
Glenn expects it will be even harder to find a place in the forward pack, particularly in the second row, where he and new captain Sam Thaiday will be the starters and Ben Te'o and Matt Gillett are sure to be fighting for a place.
Throw in the experience of Ben Hannant, Petero Civoniceva and Corey Parker, plus rising stars David Hala and Josh McGuire, and you can see why Glenn is excited about 2012.
The group of players representing the club in this year's Community Carnival will spend time in a number of Coast schools today before heading back to Brisbane this afternoon.
The Broncos will play their first trial against the Cowboys at Redcliffe on Saturday night.