The Magpies will have a new mentor next season following coach Rory Brien’s decision to step away from the top job after a two-season tenure.
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Brien says he’s done all he can for the Magpies and it’s time for someone to “put their spin on it”, after failing to end the Magpies’ now three seasons finals drought.
This season’s hopes were dashed during the past month, losing games against Bathurst St Pat’s, Bathurst Panthers and Orange Hawks while Lithgow Workies made a late charge to secure the fifth place.
While speaking with Rory Brien on Wednesday, with a limited amount of time to reflect on the season, he said he had a strong belief his side was capable a lot more in 2017.
“It’s very disappointing for me. I was a big believer we could go a long way. It was a pretty good team we had,” Rory Brien said.
“It was a tough season. It was a bit of a rollercoaster ride with the highs and lows we experienced.
“It’s like anything though, you can’t always be brilliant.
“I don’t like losing, I always did my best to put the team in a position to play finals.”
With an emphasis on providing a path to first grade for Cowra’s juniors and promoting a side brimming with local talent, Brien, at just 25 years of age, said it was a challenge at times to coach his “good mates” and players who are older than him.
Witnessing the Browne brothers, Zac and Mitch, and Rick Nobes emerge as genuine first grade players will go down as a highlight of his time in charge.
“It was difficult,” he said.
“Most of the blokes are my good mates and some are older than me but they all had respect for me and tried to do their best under my coaching. A lot of junior blokes have made improvements and that’s exciting but to fall short is pretty disappointing.”
He said he would consider a coaching role in the future, but for now it’s someone else’s turn.
He’ll look to remain involved with the club which supported him throughout his playing career in Sydney.
“I am going to hang up the coaching boots for now and kick back and let someone else put their spin on it. I gave it my best shot,” he said.
“I love Cowra, I’ll do whatever I can to support Cowra Rugby League because they were a big part of my life growing up and supported me a lot.”
He gave no clues as to who will replace him in 2018, and hopes to see Bathurst Panthers clinch this year’s Group 10 premiership.
“Panthers players are virtually all from Bathurst, with a couple from out of town. They have the Betts, Seager and Barrow brothers they’re a big family club. I’d like to see them win and I think they will.”
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