Canberra looks to raid 2009 under Furner - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra looks to raid 2009 under Furner

By Peter Veness 07/11/2008 05:31:00 PM Comments (0)

Last season's NRL surprise, Canberra, have begun pre-season training under new coach and club legend David Furner.

Slotted in as wooden spoon favourites in 2008, the green machine surprised the competition by playing an exuberant, attacking brand of league that saw them sneak into the final eight.

Furner has promised to keep the brand crafted by former coach Neil Henry.

"We identified the players we've got and the style that we need to play," Furner said.

The Canberra local has spent much of his life around the Raiders. His brother, Don, is the club chief executive and their father, also Don, coached Canberra and Australia in the late 80s.

David also happens to hold the club points scoring record with 1,218 points.

Skipper Alan Tongue believes the squad, which includes newcomers Dave Shillington, Stuart Flanagan, Bronson Harrison, Sam Huihaha and Josh McCrone, will again outdo expectations.

"The enthusiasm levels are there, even in the first day of pre-season and I think that's got a lot to do with the new faces we've got but also the young kids."

Those young kids are the core of the Raiders premiership winning Toyota Cup side and include rookies like Sean Fensom, Andrew Edwards and Matt Smith.

"We've got a new coaching staff and a lot of players who I think will be here for a long period of time," Tongue said.

But the man famous for the mantra of "one week at a time" isn't about to start offering the media a mark to judge the Raiders by.

"We haven't talked too much about the season and what we want in terms of placing on the ladder or anything like that yet, that will come."

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