Jordan Tencate ready for challenge
Round one of the inaugural Challenge Cup will be a homecoming on two fronts for boom Corrimal recruit Jordan Tencate.
The Cash Back App Illawarra Challenge Cup will kick off with a double-header at Rex Jackson Oval on Saturday with Corrimal to take on Shire club Gymea while Helensburgh will face Aquinas Colts.
Tencate, a former Cronulla NYC player, played his junior footy for Gymea before playing for Helensburgh in the 2014 Illawarra Coal League season. He's made the switch after being targeted by new coach Brendon Reeves.
"Reevesy just gave me a call and said he'd like to have me down here," Tencate said.
"It was mostly about the opportunity to help build a new team.
"Helensburgh have been going pretty well for the past couple of seasons and Corrimal have struggled so I thought I could offer them a bit more."
Reeves is perhaps the best credentialed coach the Cougars have had for a number of seasons.
Tencate said his firm but fair approach is already transforming the club who notched their first win - albeit in a trial match - against Group Seven grand finalists Warilla last week.
"It's the first win we've had for a whole year so it's good sign," Tencate said.
"It was a very positive start after the way we went last year ... [Reeves] is a very good coach.
"He's very strong-minded ... he knows what he wants from you and it's pretty much set in stone.
"At the start a lot of us struggled. A lot of the boys didn't really know each other but it's been a couple of months now so we're pretty tight and believe in what we're doing."
Tencate expects to cop it from both the opposition and the famously vocal Helensburgh viewing gallery when he faces his former club at his former home ground but he's determined to embrace it.
"A few of the boys will be giving it to me I think," Tencate added.
"It'll be good to have a hit-out against them.
"A few of the boys might be 'into' me but I'm looking forward to it."
Tencate had an injury-riddled 2014 but few doubt the 21-year-old's ability to be one of the most damaging backs in the competition.
"I had a few injuries [last year] so I really just want to stay on the field and play some good footy."
This article originally appeared in the Illawarra Mercury on 20/3/2015