MANUNDA have tasked one of their own with the job of rebuilding the suspended AFL Cairns club, junior and premiership player Marc Harbrow to coach the Hawks for at least the next two seasons.
The Cazalys-based club was sensationally booted from the Seniors and Reserves competitions last season in a landmark decision after they opted to forfeit games in Port Douglas, citing concerns for player safety.
The decision and consequential fallout split opinion across the country but the club say they are eager and able to return in 2016.
“It’s a bit of a feel-good story with one of our juniors coming through, winning a flag (in 2011) and now coaching seniors and that is a pretty rare thing up here,” president Richard Martin said.
“What is done is done and what will happen now is that we will be the most watched sporting club in Cairns next year because everyone will be wondering how we go.
“We are debt free, have had lots of interest from new sponsors, former players and footy people all over the country.
“And our expectations are to be competitive and certainly not pushovers.”
Harbrow, older brother of Gold Coast Sun Jarrod, coached the best part of two seasons at Cairns City Lions before taking control of the Hawks’ Colts side this year and playing sporadically with South Cairns Cutters.
“It’s great to be given a chance again to coach seniors at the club I began playing footy at,” 30-year-old Harbrow said.
“I enjoyed coaching at Lions and I just want to build us back up again. It’s certainly going to be a different kind of challenge.
“Talking to plenty of guys, everyone is keen to get back into it and play for the Hawks again.”
The Hawks will follow the lead of other AFL Cairns clubs and have a month-long training stint before Christmas.
Article Courtesy of Murray Wenzel The Cairns Post