Corey Kirk (centre) hopes to right the wrongs of Goodna's disappointing 2018 season and return the club to finals this year.
Corey Kirk (centre) hopes to right the wrongs of Goodna's disappointing 2018 season and return the club to finals this year. Rob Williams

'We'll be there come September' says new Goodna coach

FOR a club with such a proud history of finals success, Goodna's conspicuous absence from the 2018 Rugby League Ipswich finals series was a shock to many.

Even ignoring the points loss debacle from the start of last season, the Eagles never really hit their stride in the quest to defend their 2017 premiership despite still boasting a supremely talented list.

"It's something we're not really accustomed to, not being there come finals footy,” new Goodna coach Corey Kirk said.

"I think it left a bit of a sour taste in our mouths for sure.”

The Eagles hit the ground running in round one, putting the hurt on eventual premiers Fassifern. But the team struggled to string strong performances together across the year and ultimately missed out on a top four spot.

Kirk said there is "no shortage of motivation” within the Goodna playing group to right the wrongs of last season.

"We know it will be a very tough competition this year with a lot of clubs strengthening,” he said. "We've strengthened also, we're pretty happy with where we're at conditioning and skill-wise.

"We believe we'll be competitive this year. Most things go to plan, we'll be there come September this time.”

Another premiership is in the Eagles' sights this season, after Kirk hinted a number of players might follow in his footsteps and hang up the boots at the end of the season.

"I think there's a couple of boys who aren't too far behind me in hanging them up. The boys want to give it everything they've got and be as successful as we can be,” he said.

Perhaps the biggest off-season question at Woogaroo Field was how the Eagles would go about replacing Kirk in the halves.

"We've picked up two very silky halves,” he said.

"We've got our general. His name is L-J Waddups, he will be our seven. He likes to control the game of footy and direct his team around the park. I'm really excited to watch him go.

"We've also been able to recruit Ray Harrison who played at West End last year. He's come over to partner L-J in the halves.

"With a couple of silky ball players there and enough muscle up front to lay the foundations, I think we've got a pretty well-balanced team at the moment.”

The Rugby League Ipswich season kicks off on the weekend of March 9-10.