Black, White and ready to go

Group 20 rugby league

IT'S a job precious few would envy but David Milne can't wait to roll his sleeves up and get cracking.

After settling back home in Griffith, the new Black and Whites coach has declared he is itching to pull on the boots and lead the Group 20 wooden spooners out of the darkness.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge of bringing it back to being a competitive club again like it should be," Milne told The Area News.

Fresh off his first ever premiership with Intrust Super Cup side Mackay Cutters, Milne faces a massive task in bringing back the glory days for a club that often struggled simply to fill a side in a horror 2013 season.

But the Black and Whites couldn't have picked a more ideal man for the job than Milne, a former junior who made 50 NRL appearances for the Canberra Raiders, scoring 23 tries.

The speedy utility also has strong form for the Cutters in Australia's strongest second-tier competition, this year crossing for 15 tries the third-best record in the league and only three shy of top.

Milne was instrumental out wide as Mackay claimed its first ever Queensland Cup title, beating Easts in a thrilling grand final.

"I still can't describe it I still haven't gotten over it. I'm still on the high," he said.

Milne is well aware of the contrast that awaits him, going from a tight-knit premiership side to the local whipping boys, but believes it's nothing that can't be fixed with a little elbow grease.

"I'm hoping to bring a little bit more professionalism back to the club and bring the things I've learned in my time in the game here," he said.

"I don't think it's going to take too much to bring it back up.

"We've got a strong core of players to work from and we're in the process of recruiting now. If we recruit well, we'll go well."

Black and Whites players can expect a long, tough pre-season if Milne's early emphasis on fitness is any indication.

Griffith was flat out getting enough players for a weekly training session this year, let alone competing with the likes of TLU and Leeton.

"You need a base fitness to do anything, really," Milne said.

"Your defence is only as good as your fitness. Hopefully we can get some numbers back and if we get a solid base of fitness, it goes a long way towards winning games."

Milne also rejected suggestions he had ruled himself out of captain-coaching duties in his early discussions with the Black and Whites, Yenda and the Waratahs.

"It wasn't that I wasn't keen to coach - I just didn't really talk to anyone about it," he said.

"That came in with the offer and I really am looking forward to the challenge of coaching. It should be good fun.

"I'm really excited and really keen to get into it. I've been having a chat with a few of the boys and sorting a few things about when training will start and what we're going to do.

"I just can't wait."

The 27-year-old said he hoped to play most of his football in the outside backs but the decision will rest on the general composition of the squad, with the club believed to be close to announcing their first set of signings in the next week or two.

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