Leading the pack: New Port Macquarie Sharks’ captain Michael Bright.IF Port Macquarie Sharks’ coach Tony Pascoe was looking for the right man to captain the first grade side in 2009, he did not miss the mark.
Enter hard-working second-rower Michael Bright.
A member of Pascoe’s premiership-winning outfit in 2006, the 23-year-old will lead the Sharks into battle tomorrow for the Group 2 season opener against the Macleay Valley Mustangs at Verge Street Oval, Kempsey.
“It’s a big honour to captain the team,” a humble Bright admitted.
“Our first goal is to reach the semi-finals and, once there, we’ll re-assess things.
“But, obviously, our main aim is to win the competition.”
With a number of new faces in the Sharks’ ranks in 2009, Bright is confident the club has the personnel to trouble their rivals.
“I think we’re looking good,” he explained.
“It might take a while to gel, however we have the nucleus of a strong team.
“I honestly don’t believe the trials were a good gauge for us.
“In saying that, we’ll need the senior players to stand up, guys like Jeremy Lang, Matt Blake, Joel Asher, Clinton Foot, Ben Cudmore and Josh Mann.
“Everyone’s still fairly young, so we’re keen to do well.”
Pascoe, back in the fold after a year’s absence, has made a few positional changes to the line-up – and Bright feels the best is yet to come.
“Jeremy (Lang), at halfback, is a good organiser while Joel (Asher) gives us a bit more depth in the forwards at lock,” he said.
“Having Josh (Mann) in any side is a boost too.
“He didn’t play in our last premiership-winning team, under Tony, yet he is such a key player.
“I’m also predicting a big year for Jake Law, he’s been killing it.”
The Sharks accounted for the Mustangs earlier this month, but Bright is wary of Macleay Valley, especially in front of their home crowd.
“They’ll be a different side to the one we played in the trial,” he said.
“However, we’re determined to kick the season off with a win.”
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