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Go Goannas!

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Captain Reed Hugo, left with Head Coach Todd Edwards, right holding the trophy from 2020 grand final.

The Cessnock Goannas have been fierce competitors in the Denton Engineering Cup 2021 season sitting in 2nd place heading into the last round, until Covid put the season on hold.

Kicking of the season with 4 wins leading into round 5, the Cessnock Goannas started the season strong under the leadership of first grade head coach Todd Edwards and assistant coach Matt Ambrum.

Both miners in the Hunter Valley, they know teamwork is what makes the dream work. Todd currently works as a Service Operator at Wambo Underground with 35 years in the industry under his belt and Matt as an Electrician at Austar.

“This is my 8th season as first grade coach and I also did a 2 year stint as reserve grade coach for the Cessnock Goannas,” said Todd.

“I played for them from the late 80’s into the mid 90’s and unfortunately after a few head injuries I had to give that away, but I’m stoked to now be coaching a solid team.”

Todd said there’s many similarities between the mining industry and rugby league. “Working with all different personalities is similar both in the mining industry and on the field, you have different personalities all over,” said Todd.

Head Coach Todd Edwards, Captain Reed Hugo & Matt Ambrum.

“It’s a similar type scenario with footy – you have 20 different personalities, some blokes you’ve got to cuddle, some blokes you have to challenge,” Todd laughed.

“Teamwork is another massive similarity between the two, especially with underground blokes.

“Underground miners are a tightknit group, we’re an open book because you have each other’s lives in each other hands and it’s similar on the field working together to avoid injury and take out the win.”

After a couple off losses in rounds 5 and 6, the Goannas got their form back with 4 straight wins before 2 more losses in rounds 11 and 12. Covid restrictions saw Covid Draws in rounds 13 and 14, but the team came back charging with 2 more wins before Covid again hit back causing 2 draws before the final round. “We haven’t played footy for over 4 weeks,” said Todd.

“We can’t play, we can’t train, we can’t even meet up for a chat, at the moment it’s all up in the air.

“We just have our fingers crossed we can take to the field again soon, but with cases right through the Hunter it’s not looking good for the last round.”

We hope to see you on the field again soon too fellas and congratulations on a solid season so far.

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