Hawks players Tim Coenraad and Larry Davidson back in bear-pit

Wollongong Hawks players Tim Coenraad and Larry Davidson on Friday. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR
Wollongong Hawks players Tim Coenraad and Larry Davidson on Friday. Picture: KIRK GILMOUR

Twiddling his thumbs at home a month ago, the thought crossed Larry Davidson's mind that he might have to get his old job back.

"This off-season was a bit different with everything that happened, and I occasionally wondered if I'd have to go and deliver pizzas again," Davidson said.

His concerns were put to rest on Friday when Davidson re-signed with the Wollongong Hawks for the 2014-15 NBL season.

The Hawks also trumpeted the re-signing of 200cm forward Tim Coenraad on a two-year deal.

Davidson, 31, has played seven seasons with Wollongong, while Coenraad has been with the club for five seasons.

"When it all got signed, there was a bit of relief there. I'm happy to be back. I'd miss this place too much if I left," Davidson said.

"I've been here a while and I fit in with the Wollongong crowd. I like playing for Gordo [coach Gordie McLeod], we've got the same core of guys coming back, so I wasn't ready for a change just yet."

The same goes for Coenraad, who came into his own in the second half of last season as the Hawks charged from last to fourth.

Rumours circulated that the 29-year-old Queenslander was headed to a rival club.

But Wollongong is where he always wanted to stay.

"This was my first year that I was part of the free agency period, because I've always signed before the free agency deadline," Coenraad said.

"Obviously there was a bit going on in the front office with the potential new ownership and the club had to take a little bit more time to work out their side of things, so it was actually a very stressful time. There's a lot of different factors you have to think about and for two or three days I was at high stress levels just deciding what to do.

"I definitely wanted to work something out with Wollongong and they've been awesome in accommodating me, so it's all worked out great."

Coenraad was under pressure last season after becoming a full-time starter in the wake of club legend Glen Saville's retirement.

He plans to hit the ground running in 2014-15.

"I like the fact that every year I get a little more comfortable and try to bring something different.

"I'm just trying to fit in where these guys need and hopefully this year I can have a bit more of a central role. I'm really looking forward to carrying on from last year. We had that great run late and that was a real confidence-booster for everyone.

"I've been working a lot in the off-season on my body. My focus in the off-season has been about getting stronger and faster."


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