A rebuilding Cootamunda have secured three new forwards as new captain-coach Hayden Crockett prepares for the Group Nine season.
The Bulldogs have been ravaged by mass departures since last season but are taking steps in the right direction.
Leeton junior Crockett has lured two forwards from Group 20 club Yenda and has also secured the services of Daini Feej.
Feej has played for the Fiji Residents team and will be a big addition to the Bulldogs’ forward pack.
The 108 kilogram prop has been playing in New Zealand and Crockett expects him to make an impact.
“It adds a bit of size,” Crockett said.
Anthony Leao-Seve and Soni Vuadreu have moved from the Blueheelers with Crockett is expecting to slot into the lock role.
Forwards Grand Boyd, Palu Tonga and Chris Maher have left for Temora and with former coach Luke Berkrey heading to Queanbeyan Blues, the forward pack is the one area Crockett has been working on the most.
With the chance to tackle so many former teammates the club is already looking forward to the clash with the Dragons.
“It’s disappointing a fair few went to Temora but I suppose they have all the money this year,” Crockett said.
“It should be a good game when we play them with a bit of bad blood from what I here.”
Crockett still hasn’t given up hopes of retaining playmaker Shannon Rupapere.
Rupapere was expected to be joining Berkrey in the Canberra competition but employment opportunities may keep him with the Bulldogs.
The club starts training on January 12 and Crockett is looking forward to getting a feel for the club.
The 23-year-old, who has experience in the Queensland Cup and with the Canberra Raiders under 20 team, will move to town this weekend and believes things remain positive at the club, who just missed out on playing finals last season.
“It’s all moving forward and looking positive at the moment,” Crockett said.