Gloucester Magpies have a great source of local players for 2020

On the ball: Gloucester Magpies in action during the 2019 grand final qualifier loss to Tall Timbers. The side has resumed training for the 2020 season. Photo: Donna Summerville.
On the ball: Gloucester Magpies in action during the 2019 grand final qualifier loss to Tall Timbers. The side has resumed training for the 2020 season. Photo: Donna Summerville.

Recruiting players from the Gloucester Valley is at the top of new Magpies captain-coach Craig Murray's list ahead of the 2020 Newcastle and Hunter Rugby League C grade competition.

The squad has resumed training in the past fortnight at Bert Gallagher Oval and is set to have a strong local presence in the ranks.

"We're going to have a great source of players from Gloucester this year," Murray said.

"About 10 players have started training and we're hoping a few of the boys from Drifta will come play as well."

Murray takes over from Andrew Middlebrook this season in what will be his first coaching appointment.

"I was pretty keen to get involved and really get rugby league going here in Gloucester," he said.

He looks set to once again line up at hooker for the Magpies following a reasonably successful outing in 2019.

The side was a top contender throughout the season but was felled by Ourimbah Tall Timbers in the grand final qualifier.

Murray is unsure which sides will be top contenders in 2020.

"I'm really just focused on getting the team together at the moment," he said.

Under Murray's guidance, the Magpies will play a more defensive style this season.

There will also be a wealth of experience for the younger members of the roster to draw from.

"We've got a really good senior group here with Riley Collins, Scott Wratten, Scott Murray and myself," Murray said.

Anyone who wants to don the famed black and white jersey in 2020 is urged to contact the club.

The club recently announced Ken White will take over as president from Jack Ross. The rest of the committee will be Brian Holstein (vice president), Frank Compton (secretary) and Matt Green (treasurer).

Elsewhere in rugby league, North Coast's Andrew Johns Shield (under 16s) and Laurie Daley Shield (under 18s) will be in action at the Harry Elliott Oval in Tuncurry on Saturday February 15 against the Central Coast Roosters.

The under 16s will kickoff at noon with the 18s at 1.20.

A trial between the North Coast under 23s and Canterbury Bulldogs NSWRL side was cancelled last Saturday.