No backward step from Maryborough Brothers
THIS time last year Maryborough Brothers were heading into the unknown.
Nobody was quite sure how the new kids on the block would handle their first season in the Bundaberg Rugby League.
Fast forward 12 months, though, and Brothers are no longer a mystery.
They are a force - a genuine contender.
After falling one game short of a grand final appearance, you can expect more of the same from Brothers in 2014.
With the club starting their second season in the reserve grade competition, new coach Chris Roff believed Brothers had a roster capable of going deep into this year's finals series.
"Hopefully this year we can improve on last year and, like every team, we'll be aiming to go number one," said Roff, speaking ahead of Saturday's season-opening clash with Bundaberg outfit Past Brothers.
"We've definitely got the potential and a good mix of older players and younger players.
"The up-and-comers are only going to learn off them, which is a bonus, but even if we can improve and create a team that will be there for years to come, that would be the best thing."
The signs have been positive in the pre-season, highlighted by their impressive 30-14 victory over Miriam Vale earlier this month.
Among many positives, one of the best signs for Brothers was the form of their big forward pack, most notably Nathan Angeles and Nathan Mitchell.
If Brothers' forwards can lay a suitable platform, playmaker Chris Alston will prove difficult to handle, while centre Tyson Rowe has added to his attacking game to compliment his strong defence - an area Roff hopes Brothers will pride themselves on this year.
"We've got the players for attacking power, but we also want teams to know we're there in defence and want them to fear us," the 24-year- old said.
He said he wanted his team to show the opposition they could not only give it, but take it as well.
BROTHERS 2014 DRAW
Rnd 1 Past Brothers, Saturday March 29 at Salter Oval
Rnd 2 Waves Tigers, Saturday April 4 at Salter Oval
Rnd 3 Isis, Saturday April 12 at Stafford Park 1.30pm
Rnd 4 Western Suburbs, Saturday April 26 at Eskdale Park 3.10pm
Rnd 5 Eastern Suburbs, Saturday May 3 at Salter Oval
Rnd 6 Wallaroos, Saturday May 17 at Stafford Park 1.30pm
Rnd 7 Hervey Bay, Sunday May 25 at Eskdale Park 2.30pm
Rnd 8 Waves Tigers, Saturday May 31 at Childers
Rnd 9 Western Suburbs, Sunday June 15 at Salter Oval
Rnd 10 Hervey Bay, Saturday June 21 at Eskdale Park
Rnd 11 Wallaroos, Saturday June 28 at Childers
Rnd 12 Eastern Suburbs, Saturday July 5 at Stafford Park
Rnd 13 Isis, Saturday July 12 at Eskdale Park
Rnd 14 Western Suburbs, Sunday July 20 at Salter Oval
Rnd 15 Past Brothers, Saturday July 26 at Stafford Park
Rnd 16 Eastern Suburbs, Saturday August 2 at Eskdale Park
Rnd 17 Hervey Bay, Saturday August 9 at Childers
Rnd 18 Wallaroos, Saturday August 16 at Salter Oval