New Gatton Hawks signings hard at work for new season
RUGBY LEAGUE: Despite having to yet pull on a jersey for his new club, Gatton Hawks recruit Luke Nolan knows all too well the raucous atmosphere that can be whipped up at Cahill Park on game days.
For many years, he was on the wrong end of it.
Arriving from Souths in Toowoomba, Nolan was eager to represent the Hawks for the upcoming season.
"To be honest with you, the main reason why I came down here was because I hated playing against (the Hawks) so much,” Nolan said, laughingly.
"One year we had to play them down here, it was our last game and we had to win to get into the finals and the crowd that they had down here, it was just really daunting walking out in front of them.
"It was always pretty ordinary playing down here.
"Coming down here on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, seeing the crowd and the following they get ... I wanted to come down and be a part of it, be a part of this culture.”
The 26-year-old half has won A-grade premierships at Valleys and Brothers and he is hoping he will prove to be a valuable part of Shaun Hobson's side as they look to reassert themselves on the TRL competition in his first year in the job.
"I just want to do my job and make sure that I turn up every week and be the best player I can,” Nolan said.
"I'd love to win another premiership. I think winning a premiership with a club like this would be unbelievable, especially with the following they've got.
"That's obviously a goal I think everyone plays for ... it's definitely a goal of mine. I think we've got the team to do it.”
The Hawks will start playing trial games in February before opening their season against Wattles on March 24, following a bye in the first round of competition.
Hobson was happy with how preparations for the new campaign were shaping up, as he works in a number of new additions to the club alongside the more familiar faces.
"(The new players) have all got connections to the club or to the coaches or to the players here,” Hobson said.
"We haven't looked outwardly or gone hard for anybody, they were connected to a player or someone here and we've had a chat to them and they've liked what they've seen.
"(Reserve grade coach Cliff Brown) has been outstanding in that regard, talking to guys and stuff like that, it's been fantastic from the club's point of view.”
The former Gladstone Valleys coach was after consistency, not just from his own team, but throughout the club.
"Everyone wants to make the finals but being a competitive force week in week out, that's what I'm interested in,” he said.
"If we're consistent, everything else will take care of itself ... we've got no excuses.
"The success is already here in Gatton, the culture's here, it's just about building on it and making sure everyone buys into it.”
Hobson was looking for important contributions across the park.
"We won't have anyone that's a star,” he said.
"We'll be very focussed on everyone being as good as they can be.
"The team will take care of the job, not one particular player.”