Murrurundi Mavericks eye off glory in 2017 Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League

BIG SEASON AWAITS: Captain-coach Shannon Brooks with members of the Murrurundi Mavericks reserve grade side.
BIG SEASON AWAITS: Captain-coach Shannon Brooks with members of the Murrurundi Mavericks reserve grade side.

THE Murrurundi Mavericks are “raring to go” when their BHP Billiton Hunter Valley Group 21 Rugby League season kicks off this weekend.

Following a strong 2016, which saw the club reach the play-offs, newly-appointed captain-coach Shannon Brooks is keen to build on that effort.

“We’re looking good [for numbers] at this stage,” he said.

“We’ve picked up players from Singleton to Quirindi – everyone’s come out of the woodwork.

“I can understand why, too.

“There’s a great culture here.

“Unfortunately, the Mavericks haven’t won a premiership since 1998.

“So, it would be terrific to break that drought.”

Murrurundi opens its account against the Merriwa Magpies, after their first round clash with Greta Branxton was transferred to July.

And, Brooks believes his chargers are well-placed.

“We’ve signed a few young fellows, which has boosted our playing stocks,” he said.

“I think we’ll give the competition a good shake.

“I’m lucky to have help, courtesy of 'local legends' Steve Simpson, Darryl Rando and Dean Taylor.

“Those guys boast a lot of experience.

“That’s what I love about this club, the camaraderie.

“The Mavericks draw huge crowds at home.

“The town really gets behind the side.

“We’ll definitely be competitive this year – and right in the mix.

“But, at the end of the day, it’s also about having fun.”

After a few seasons with the Scone Thoroughbreds, Brooks said he was looking forward to the challenge.

“I wanted to coach the side to keep the club moving forward,” he admitted.

“It’s important to take that next step.”