KAWANA Dolphins coach Rob Brough is lamenting the loss of several players from last year's premiership winning squad. Up to eight players will be unavailable at various stages of the upcoming season due to playing and work commitments. One of the biggest losses will be former vice-captain Tyson Teys. Teys was an "inspirational leader" who played every game last season including their grand final win over Bribie Island where he scored the Dolphin's first try to get them back in the match. The crafty lock has been forced to move to Gladstone for work and will not play this year leaving a massive hole in the Dolphins team.
"TYSON was one of our most inspirational players," Brough said. Premiership winning five-eighth Ricky Boehmke and half-back Ben Whiddon have also moved to Gladstone, effectively leaving Kawana without its most reliable attacking duo for 2013.
Another massive loss will be that of representative player of the year Jason Wardrop who will be available for limited games due to his job in the Western Australian mines. Wardrop was arguably the Dolphins' best player, gifting Kawana with classy attack and solid defence every time he took the field. The reliable back-rower was instrumental in the Dolphins' back-to-back premierships and will be sorely missed when unavailable. Dependable interchange players Denham Blackburn and Johnathon Muir have also ventured to the Western Australian mines and only be available for limited games this year.
"They will play but we are only going to get them once in a blue moon," Brough said. "The working away thing has a major impact on every club and you have to work around that. "It's a bit of a lottery, really." Premiership winning back-rower Kai Busiko will join the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles along with fellow Dolphin Mitch Ebdon.
Busiko and Ebden will be available to play for the Dolphins when not required by the Sea Eagles. Brough is used to such challenges and lost seven of his 2012 premiership winning team before the start of the last season. The master coach managed to mould the players available into a formidable side that extended 2012's undefeated season to 27 games. The Dolphins suffered their first loss in two years (19-12) to Caboolture in round nine last year before losing the following week 52-12 to Bribie Island. Brough's winning culture prevailed in inspiring his side to a 14-12 win against Bribie Island in last year's grand final. Brough said he would be relying on the new faces at training to consume themselves in the club's winning ways.
"You certainly hope to develop that at your club," he said. "We've still got a few of the older boys who are undecided and may or may not play, but that happens. "Any time someone doesn't play you've got to hope that it means an opportunity for someone else to step up and play first grade."
Sunshine Coast Daily