Millward aims to lift Cutters players to NRL

Courtesy Illawarra Mercury (05/03/2014)

Winning and losing won't mean everything to the Illawarra Cutters this season - Ian Millward wants to produce players capable of making the leap to the NRL.

In charge of the NSW Cup outfit after Paul McGregor's two years at the helm, Millward has already seen enough to suggest some players are capable of earning full-time contracts.

"If I could get a guy who is playing with me on a part-time to a fully-fledged NRL contract ... that would be to me a big victory," Millward said. "I think there are some guys here with the ability to do it and now it's all about staying focused as well as opportunity.

"We'll get judged on how professional the organisation is and what opportunities we can generate ... as well as guys enjoying their rugby league. The game is too tough not to enjoy yourself so that's a big criteria.

"I respect the guys training with us and still giving themselves an opportunity at that dream. If we can turn a few dreams into reality that would be really pleasing."

The Cutters have played Canterbury and North Sydney in trials and beat Corrimal and Woden Valley last Saturday.

Millward knows how difficult the task will be for the Cutters after a high player turnover in their first two seasons.

"I think the Cutters have found the league's got stronger," Millward said. "They've advanced every year, but the league's got stronger.

Illawarra host the Wests Tigers in their season-opening clash at WIN Stadium on Saturday.


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2018 Hardware Man Illawarra League First Grade
1 Wests 23
2 Thirroul 23
3 Collegians 22
4 Dapto 20
5 Berkeley 12
6 Helensburgh 8
7 Corrimal 4