Preparations for a successful 2018 season are already well underway for Park Ridge Pirates AFL Club.
The club has added well known coach Graham Adams to coach the seniors next season as well as new players Anthony Stewart and Nick Davidson to the 2018 playing list.
Nicknamed Bomber, new mentor Adams is a Queensland hall of fame inductee, after playing QAFL from the age of fifteen and playing more than 200 games for Zillmere, as well as 22 games for Queensland.
He has coached for the past 13 seasons at Sandgate and Pirates’ president Andy Colenso said the club is excited about what he brings to the table.
“He is in the Queensland hall of fame and was nominated for the team of the century as well, he comes with very high credentialed,” he said.
“On the back end of that our recruitment has already got a good start because we’ve gone out and got the best coach available and he has got a great track record with bringing kids through.
“He has had eight kids drafted in to the AFL in the last ten years that have gone through his hands as a coach, one is at Melbourne, one at North Melbourne, he has got a fair list of players that he coached that all got drafted.
“I think he is going to be a really good fit for us.”
Davidson comes to the club after spending time in Victoria where he gained interest from two AFL clubs in Essendon and Collingwood and Colenso said he will be a key addition as the club goes in search of a promotion from the QAFA Division 2 competition to the QAFA Division 1.
“Nick went down to do a preseason with Essendon and he got their late and wasn't in really good nick when he got there and they wanted him to stay and train all year with the VFL side and do one night a week at Keilor at EDFL level,” he said.
“Then he got to know all the blokes at Keilor and first couple games for them he got two best on grounds and they offered him more money and then the lure of playing AFL waned a bit and he stopped going to Essendon training and committed to playing for Keilor.
“Then Collingwood saw him play and he went and did a preseason at Collingwood but he got a couple heavy head knocks during the preseason trial games so he missed about 12 months of footy because of the doc’s orders.
“But they were really happy with him, he would of made the list at Collingwood, and he would've made the list at Essendon had he stuck it out there, he is a pretty serious player.
“He went to school at Park Ridge and so he is mates with a lot of the boys, so he just wants to come back and play with all his mates and try and help us win a flag.”
Stewart is former Pirates junior who has played at QAFL level with Surfer’s Paradise who Colenso said the whole club is thrilled to have returning to a Pirates’ jersey.
“He came through our juniors and played in our youth and he left to go an play at a bit higher level at QAFL so he went and played at Surfer’s Paradise and he played at under 18s and reserve grade level there last year,” he said.
“We have enticed him to come back and play senior level and we think we can get him to where he wants to go, we think this will be a good stepping stone for him, for where he is at with his footy.”
Colenso said the club which has also added Matt Dillon who has played at QAFL level, is not done recruiting but added he already confident in the list they are compiling.
“There is two more signings to come yet, it is looking real positive, I think we are going to have a pretty exciting year ahead,” he said.
“We think we have recruited strongly enough to have a decent crack at it this year.”