Albury search for ways to stay more consistent

Arran MacDougall will be back with Albury in 2018.

Arran MacDougall will be back with Albury in 2018.

After missing out on the finals for the last two seasons, Albury coach Paul Musarra is confident some returning faces can help get the club get moving back in the right direction.

Three seasons ago the club lost only one game on their way to the premiership, but after losing the majority of their side since then the border club has struggled.

However they have managed to attract English lock Jonathon Kerr to the club and have a few premiership winners back on board as well.

Arran MacDougall, Dave Cooper-Dunn and Tom Wilmore will be in the blue and gold hoops in 2018.

MacDougall and Cooper-Dunn have both played representative rugby in the region

Musarra is thrilled to have some more players at his disposal.

“It will make a huge difference for us,” Musarra said.

“It is more bodies and I don’t care how good they are as long as we have more bums on seats this year.”

Their only confirmed loss so far is flanker Nick May, who has moved to Brisbane with the Army. 

Tom Wilmore has returned for a second stint with the Steamers.

Tom Wilmore has returned for a second stint with the Steamers.

Believing the club has been relying on players simply arriving on the border as their main approach to recruiting, Musarra is looking to lock in a new system to ensure they remain competitive and have more players at their disposal.

“I think we just have to push every year to make sure we have a good enough list to compete,” he said.

“We don’t want the same situation as we have had over the last couple of years.

“It is very difficult with only 15 to 20 at training every week.”

He’s looking to secure a more steady line of international players to help boost the code which is far from being at the top of the pecking order in Albury.

With a new plan, some new faces and a few older ones returning back Musarra believes they can lay a path to success for years to come.

“We’ve had a couple of years where we have struggled for players so I think we realistically have to start looking at recruiting like some other clubs do,” he said.

“We have never done it really well.

“In fits and starts we have with the odd Pom coming over and a couple of South Africans guy but I think we are going to get some structures in place so every year we make sure we have half a dozen players coming over.”

Musarra is also hoping to build on the success VIVA7s has had on the border.