Leikvoll brings Dapto boys home

ILLAWARRA COAL LEAGUE 

While several Coal League clubs have recruited heavily for the 2014 season, Dapto coach Chris Leikvoll has focused on bringing players home.

After a disappointing 2013 season, Leikvoll believes the Canaries' return to the top of the competition relies on re-tapping the rich well of young talent the Dapto club is famous for producing.

"A big focus for me was getting some local juniors back after they'd gone to other clubs," Leikvoll said.

"We've done well to get a few blokes back like Mick Murphy and Jamie Dunning from Shellharbour, and young Blake Spencer's back.

"These are all guys who didn't play for us last year but they're local guys and they're coming back.

"Dapto's always been a club that's prided itself on juniors but we probably haven't had the amount of juniors coming through, so we're looking to develop some of those young guys.

"We've got a couple this year and there's some good signs there.

"We'll have seven or eight local juniors who will play first grade I'd imagine."

The Canaries were the Coal League's Jekyll and Hyde side last year, mixing victories over heavyweight clubs Wests and Collegians with several disappointing losses.

In his first year at the helm, Leikvoll believes just a few adjustments are required to revive the club's fortunes.

"I think just a few things needed to be tweaked," he said.

"I couldn't single anybody out but everyone's working hard and doing everything that's been asked of them, so I like to think we'll go better [than last year].

"We've got trials coming up and after that I'll have bit more of an idea of what we've got and what we haven't got," he said.

"There's only six teams and there's going to be some quality players in the competition, particularly in first grade, so until we see them play a few games we won't really know."

The Canaries will get their first test against The Entrance in two weeks time ahead of a stern workout against the Newtown Jets.

"We're playing The Entrance and we've got a game against the Newtown Jets, which we were lucky to get," he said.

"I'd rather test ourselves against a quality club."

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