Group 20 rugby league
AFTER years of leading the Blueheelers around on the park, Yenda great Lance Poka will now be handing out directions in the boardroom after becoming the club’s new president.
Poka takes over from the departed Adam Goldman, who stepped down from the position earlier in the year to move with his family back to Newcastle for work reasons.
The two-time premiership player said he was “very honoured” to have been handed the role.
“There’s been some good presidents there in the past and of course there’s a great committee with some quality people, and that’s going to make my job a lot easier,” he said.
“As a player you don’t really notice some of the stuff guys like Goldy do – like getting the canteen ready, getting all the jumpers ready, making sure the raffles are done.
“They’re the little things that some players don’t really help out with and that’s what makes a footy club tick.”
Poka said he was keen to continue the good work of Goldman and his predecessors, but also hoped to restore Yenda’s reputation as a “very strong family club”.
“We have sort of lost a little bit of that – my drive is to get it back to the way it was when I first came there,” he said.
“It makes it easier for the players knowing that support is there.”
The Blueheelers’ preparations for next season are well under way with the likes of best-and-fairest Jarrod Williams and forward pair Kodie Charles and Tom Sellars already secured for next year.
It is understood to be a mere formality that Roy Romeo, who guided Yenda to within minutes of a grand final appearance, will remain as coach.
Poka said the Dogs were on the lookout for a prop and a centre to complete the bulk of their squad for 2014, but he expected plenty of improvement to come from within.
“The commitment last year, it came too late really, from what I saw,” he said.
“We’ve got some good numbers at Yenda. Some are just fringe first graders but if they are committed from the start they can be more than that.”
Meanwhile, three promising youngsters from Group 20 are poised to sign with Group Nine powerhouse Southcity Bulls.
Coach Daniel Fitzhenry revealed last week he was chasing the signatures of the young trio, believed to be utility players, but has remained tight-lipped over their identity or what club they come from.