Lack of loyalty is 'sad

Hawks guru bemoans depleted side as 'selfish' players jump ship.

Manunda player-coach Clinton Gribble has made no secret of his feelings towards players who have left the club druing the off-season, slamming them as selfish and lacking loyalty ahead of today's Preseason Cup at Cazalys.

The lead-by-example rover will return to the field for the Hawks today, having undergone ligament augmentation and reconstruction system surgery after a knee injury meant he missed last season's finals series. They will play Port Douglas and Saints, while his former teammates run around for South Cairns, North Cairns Tigers and Cairns City Lions.

While some are returning to play at their former clubs, Gribble was disappointed other factors had influenced them. "They make their own decisions and obviously a lot of that is to do with more money being on offer and that, to me, shows there isn't much loyalty which is a bit sad," the former Swans District WAFL player said. "It happens a lot more up in Cairns than it does in WA or Victoria, that's for sure." "And that's fine, if you're not a club person we don't want you at the club."

The absence of former president Richard Martin, who stood down due to work committments, has made for another disjointed off-season at the Hawks' Cazalys headquarters. But Norm Miller, a former president and well-rspected clubman, is back in the chair and Gribble is confident the senior squad can mirror their recent history. Last year they started the season as whipping boys only to finish a close second to premiers Saints in the decider. The year before that they won the flag - their third in a six-year period. "It all comes down to finals and the guys in our club know how to play them," Gribble , who will begin his second year in Cairns, said. "We'll be playing a lot of kids who have grown stronger and developed since last season and having thoose junior pathways to the Gold Coast Suns Academy is a big focus of the club at the moment."

Hawks play Port Douglas to open the Preseason Cup at 1pm today and games continue until 7pm with a final slated for 3pm next Saturday


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