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Sport

20 November, 2020

Welcome home Jayden

WITH two weeks training under their belts the Northern Pride are starting to shape their 2021 season.

By Peter McCullagh

Strong recruiting has experience and versatility added to the squad along with key re-signings adding speed and size.

Rod Griffin was one of the key signatures Northern Pride coach Ty Williams had on his agenda.

Griffin brings a wealth of experience and football culture to the team. After a false start to the 2020 season, Griffin was contemplating retirement after a long and rather arduous career on the football paddock.

After a ‘heart-to-heart’ with his coach, Griffin re-signed for one more tilt at the title. With a very long and successful career behind him the prospect of a successful season proved to be the lure.

“It would be good to play one more season with the boys and finish with a premiership.

“We have the talent and hopefully, after a good preseason, anything’s possible.”

Another key signing for Williams was the signature of ex-Mackay Cutter captain Jayden Hodges.

Hodges adds versatility to the Pride line-up this year. Although spending most of his career as hooker, Hodges has the ability to roam and play out of position adding essential sting to the attack and versatility to the play.

Hodges was attracted back to Cairns with family here, having been away for over 10 years, and having played his junior career with the Cairns Kangaroos.

Hodges brings NRL experience to the Pride having played with the Cowboys, Manly and Cronulla before playing 3 seasons with Mackay.

Hodges is pleased to be back in training having missed his football last year.

“Getting back amongst the boys, back in training and some sort of routine back in my life, is great.

“I’m keen to work with Ty, it’s all about focussing and getting the body right, competing for 19 rounds plus finals.

“We’re aiming to be there in September and being successful,” said Hodges.

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