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As the 2018 Intrust Super Shute Shield season approaches, we look past on what could have been in 2017 and forward to the potential of taking that next step.
Following the departure of 1st Grade coach, Simon Cron, a position was left vacant for an experienced and greatly respected predecessor in the form of Shannon Fraser.
Having been born and bred in Camden, Fraser joins Norths with a wealth of coaching experience having spent the past three seasons as head coach at Randwick, following senior positions with the NSW Country Eagles and the Flying Fijians as well as stints in Japan and with the Waratahs.
Heading into week two of pre-season training, Shannon acknowledged that while the group had experienced success recently there was plenty room for improvement moving forward.
“The enthusiasm this week was fantastic, there is a good energy and vibe within the group which will be critical to maintain as we push the players beyond their limits,” Fraser said.
“It good to rip in and get started.”
Shannon continued by adding that the first training block is heavily focused on skill development.
“In our first training phase, we are focusing heavily on skill development and decision making because that is going to be critical to our playing style throughout 2018,” Fraser explained.
“It’s only early days but the signs are very encouraging.”
Every season there will ultimately be changes in the playing group and Fraser admitted that while it’s important to retain consistency within the playing group, the injection of fresh blood and different experiences will only “expand our performance capabilities.”
“It has been a big 2 years here at Norths, so it’s important that we use this period to also rejuvenate some players physically and mentally, meaning that a number of players will transition back to the group in the new year after having some time off,” Fraser said.
Fraser acknowledged that the change of environment was a positive thing.
“Personally the change have been very positive and I am excited to be working with this group in what is a very progressive and aspirational club,” Fraser said.
The commute from Wollongong to North Sydney isn’t always an exciting one, however Shannon admitted that it was all just apart of the deal and commitment.
“Every one makes sacrifices to pursue their passion and mine is time in the car. It is just apart of the deal of living down south,” Fraser said.
“Although my wife and kids would like me to be home more often, I am very privileged to be able to coach at such a successful and respected club.”