Coach plays to win
By GERARD WALSH
WARWICK Cowboys players won't hear the words "to be competitive" from A grade coach Brendan Cussen next season. "Our first aim will be to win three of our first five games and make the top-five," Cussen said. "If we just want to be competitive, we won't challenge ourselves." Cussen, 37, played nine seasons with the Warwick Cowboys, including the final five as A-grade hooker. He has since coached juniors at Eastern Suburbs and been the Suburbs coaching director for the past five or six years. In 2006, he coached the Suburbs under-16 side to the Warwick and District preliminary final. While a player, Cussen also coached Warwick under-age teams in the Toowoomba Rugby League competition and has a record of three top-five appearances in three seasons. "I am big on fitness and it will be training rain, hail or shine," he said. "At one of the first training sessions, I will set training rules with the players. The players will set the penalties (for missing training). "A few players will be involved in the leadership group." Cussen is already recruiting and said players were welcome to call him on 4661 7286. The first sign-on for the season will be on October 24 at 5.30pm at Father Ranger Oval, with training to start a fortnight before Christmas. "I want players who really want to play footy," Cussen said. "There was a lot of youth and camaraderie in the club this season." Next season, Cussen plans to have two fresh reserves each week and then use an in-form reserve-grade player who wants to make it to A-grade on the bench. "In certain games, I would like to blood an U18 player off the bench," he said.