A new direction for the Parkes Spacemen

SENIOR SQUAD: Parkes Spacemen senior players have been training for their upcoming season since January 16. Round 1 is at home against Dubbo Macquarie on April 29.
SENIOR SQUAD: Parkes Spacemen senior players have been training for their upcoming season since January 16. Round 1 is at home against Dubbo Macquarie on April 29.

With just short of 40 senior players turning up for pre-season training since January 16, Spacemen’s captain-coach Alex Prout is optimistic for a successful season.

“Forty players is quite good,” Prout said.

“It’s one of the highest numbers we’ve had for a long time for pre-season.

“The league tag girls and under 18s have also been hard at it for weeks.”

The club played its first trial game against Forbes at Spooner Oval on April 6.

“We had 27 players available for that game. It was a bit disjointed but it was also a bit of a reward for the blokes who have been turning up consistently during pre-season,” Prout said.

Although players previously in key positions have moved on, the side has welcomed 11 new senior recruits - Josh Brown, Jake White, Lewis Dwyer, Waisale Raundina, Nelson Daplen, Dan Ryan, Ben Ryan, Mick Kable, Maikelli Sivo and Josateki Sovau.  

Prout said 2017 under 18s coach Luke Clarke will lead the side again this year.

“He’s done a good job of bringing the under 18s from last year with the majority sticking around to play senior footy with the club,” he said.  

The Parkes Spaceman hosted a successful season launch at the Coachman Hotel, their major sponsors this year, on April 7.

New president Jamie Pope spoke about changes within the club, its new direction and introduced the new players.

The club also paid tribute to Dennis Moran, former captain-coach, who has has been a major part of the Spacemen family.

All four coaches were interviewed with Joe Spicer and Nat Gardiner (league tag) and George Wright (reserves) also excited for their upcoming season.

A Jersey Number Auction - where the owner of the number of the first try scorer at each seven home games wins a cash prize - was hugely successful.

In the last of the pre-season games, the Spaceman played Dubbo Westside at home on Saturday, taking out all three grades – seniors, under 18s and league tag. 

Prout said score lines don’t mean much in trials.

“I set the boys some small team goals at training during the week after our Forbes trial and I think we did a pretty good job of achieving them,” he said.

“We still have plenty to work on before Round 1, but I am happy with their efforts on Saturday.”

Prout said he is looking forward to implementing his own approach to coaching and playing first grade in 2018.

“We hope to get a healthy following of Parkes supporters to the games to ensure a successful season,” he said.