There's a new man in charge of bringing glory to Central West rugby and the long-time coach believes his lack of allegiance to the region's premier competition will keep him in good stead.
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Andrew Corcoran, who took over as Boorowa Rugby Club's head coach six years ago, will take the reigns of the Blue Bulls for 2023. This move comes following the departure of Dean Oxley, was appointed as NSW Country Cockatoos coach late last year.
Corcoran, who boasts a resume including a premiership win with Wagga Ag College and a stint in England as coach of the University of Nottingham, was excited to bring a fresh perspective to the job.
"I've coached against a couple of players from Harden and Cootamundra and Young, but overall, I've never seen these players play a game before," he said of his squad.
"It's exciting to see what they've got and try to make them better players, but also step my coaching up because I'm going to need to do that to take these boys to the next level."
Boorowa as a club is still relatively new to the Central West, with 2023 marking its fifth year in the South West competition, having previously competed against teams like Jindabyne and Bateman's Bay in the Monaro league.
Having coached the Goldies in both setups, Corcoran could say with certainty which one he preferred.
"It's just a friendlier comp," he said of the Central West.
"You're playing farmer's boys, you're playing tradies and everyone's the same. There's no crap and a lot less fighting.
"They bash the crap out of each other on the field, but then they have a beer and a laugh after it. In the old comp, it was really hard to relate to who you were playing against, but where we are now, you can relate to everyone you play and coach against."
With assistant coaches like former Orange City first grade coach Viv Paasi on board, Corcoran believes they will be able to get a broader scope of talent.
"There'll be a bit of time on Cluch," he said of watching games from across the region online.
"I've got assistant coaches who are watching the Blowes Cup and now I can hopefully drag players from the South West, to make the Central West even stronger," he said.
"I think it's healthy for the coach not to have any allegiances to the Blowes Cup teams, so everyone can feel like they have an equal chance, not that that hasn't been the case, but I don't owe anybody anything."
With a squad of about 45 players, Corcoran knows that one of the biggest challenges will keeping all players engaged, especially when injuries start to creep in, something he knows all too well about.
"Around the age of 20 I had a heap of dislocated shoulders. I would not have played for anyone higher though, just so we're clear," he added.
"I did the rehab once and then re-did the injury and didn't want to go through the rehab again. I gave up playing and started coaching.
"These players are keen now, but as the season goes, players go down injured, so you have to figure out who are going to be your backups. It's about managing young men and keeping them keen in case their time comes in June."
It's also likely those young men won't be referring to their coach by any of the names on his birth certificate.
"I got the nickname Cheese when I was 14 at school because of my cheesy grin, nothing too exciting, but it's stuck pretty well," Corcoran said.
"My mum calls be Cheese and a lot of people wouldn't know my real name. It just stuck forever. It's all good fun and a bit of a laugh."
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