Wellburn to line up Laidley troops

FOR winless Laidley coach Rocky Wellburn each week in the Challenge Cup is a battle, mainly because of poor player numbers at training.

Springfield beat Laidley 34-10 last weekend to remain undefeated after four rounds, while Rosewood downed Lowood 28-22 and Redbank Plains forfeited against Brothers.

“I’m just trying to get these boys to play footy in the line,” Wellburn said.

“For years I’ve been watching and there is too much footy played before the line.”

Against a powerful team like Springfield it was an invitation for their hitters to line the Laidley ball runners up.

“I try to convince the blokes to play football off the ball to create space,” Wellburn said.

“We’re getting there. If only I can get them to training.”

The coach is lucky to get nine players at each training session, making it tough to work on new ideas.

“It’s a cancer out here,” he said.

“I’ve been here 15 years and it is the same old saying from the old boys, ‘It’s always been like that’.

“We had commitments from players but they didn’t turn up.

“It’s heart-breaking for blokes in the club like (president) Lenny Moyle.

“We just can’t get blokes.”

For those who are turning up regularly, Wellburn has nothing but praise.

“They’re showing a lot of heart on the field,” the coach said.

“Pat Noonan, his heart is bigger than he is.

“He’s my Mr Fixit at lock, second-row, hooker or halfback. He’s doing everything.

“A marquee player like Peter Shepley is just a leader at training and on the field.

“I’m pleased with what they’re doing on the field as far as heart is concerned. Across the board we’ve got some raw talent.”

Among the most talented is halfback Wayde Nibbs. The 18-year-old played his first senior game for the Lions against Springfield, having previously been in the Logan under-20 squad.

“When they do what we’ve practised they do very well,” Wellburn said. “I’ve just got to get them to concentrate on playing like they practise.”

After this weekend’s representative bye the Lions take on Rosewood, which Laidley matched it with in trials.

Latest points:

  • Springfield - 8
  • Lowood Tarampa - 4
  • Brothers - 4
  • Rosewood - 3
  • Redbank Plains - 3
  • Laidley - 0