It’s been a tumultuous opening five rounds of the 2017 Group 11 season for Dubbo Westside but interim coach Col Fuller feels his side has turned a corner.
Since losing 102-0 in the opening round, Westside had to deal with first year captain-coach Colt Tairua stepping down.
Rabbitohs stalwart Fuller took on the top job, just on an interim basis, while Tairua now focuses on his own game and the new coach feels his squad is in a much better place heading into Sunday’s match with fellow battlers, the Narromine Jets, at No. 1 Oval.
“This weekend I think we’re heading in with the most competitive side we’ve had since Josh Merritt and Dylan Hill led the side,” he said.
“We’re getting back to that exciting play now. We just have to show some commitment in training and focus on our discipline.”
Fuller’s confidence stems from a strong showing at training as well as a host of new faces at the club.
Sam Coe, one of few shining lights last term, has returned after starting the 2017 campaign in Newcastle while former Forbes Magpies centre Joseph Core has linked up with the club since moving to Dubbo.
Tyrone Blanchett has played at a high level in Wollongong in the past and will start in the front row while young gun Stevie Merritt will partner Jon Newman in the halves.
“We’ve turned a corner in the past three weeks with more players turning up,” Fuller said.
“They (Narromine) are no better than us we’ve got a bit of a different squad now.
“Things have changed since Colt stepped down to focus on his own game and I had a yarn to him and he’s really confident.”
With the likes of the Coe duo in the backline, Fuller said there will be an emphasis on spreading the ball wide and giving those players every chance of making something happen.
For Narromine, the absence of Alex Sambrook is a blow but the task of scoring a breakthrough win will fall to halves Corey Cox and Daryl Cubby while centre EJ Fernando has impressed.
Sunday’s action at No. 1 Oval starts with the League Tag at 11am.