Plater to coach the Roosters in 2023

Rugby League Thomas Plater Castlereagh Player of the Year . Photo contributed

One of the most talented footballers to play with the Cobar Roosters, Thomas Plater, has been appointed as the new Roosters First Grade Coach.

Plater has more than proved himself on the field since he debuted in 2021 with the Roosters First Grade team.

Playing at Hooker, Plater instantly made a huge impact in his first hit-out  at the Castlereagh 2021 preseason knockout, helping Cobar to win the shield.

Plater continued to impress throughout that season (which was cut short by COVID restrictions) where he earnt the Club Best & Fairest award as well as the Castlereagh Player of the Year award.

Last season he was part of the Premiership winning side, and was the Roosters’ Most Consistent and Highest Point Scorer of the season.

Plater will head up the team for the 2023 Christie & Hood Castlereagh Rugby League competition, taking over from Loma Atuau, who led the side to grand final victory last season.

He co-captained alongside Atuau last year and said he’s discussed taking over the coaching with Atuau, who said he’s happy to take a back seat this season.

“Loma is looking forward to being able to focus on his own footy without the pressure of directing the team around,” Plater said.

“Currently, most of the team look like they will be playing again, although we have had some notable losses due to moving or retiring,” Plater said.

“These include David Watson, Ben Simon and James Neyland. Tristan Everett seems to think he has retired but I think we will get another year out of the old boy. After losing a bit of size we would love to get another front rower or second rower to firm up our forward pack.

“We also lost our halfback in Jimmy Neyland from last year but I am hopeful that Lochlan Ford will be able to fill that void.”

Plater describes his coaching style as a mix of both modern and traditional techniques.

“I will try to bring a modern approach to our attacking game plan and a traditional, tough approach to our defence,” Plater said.

“First and foremost, I would like my players to have an enjoyable season.

“Enjoying yourself in footy comes from working hard as a team towards a shared goal.

“That shared goal is obviously to win another premiership but we need to start with small steps like giving preseason training our all and starting the season strong.

“We can achieve this by getting numbers to training, being willing to do the hard work, listening and accepting what we need to do to improve and using our close mateship to build cohesion on and off the field,” he said.

Preseason training has begun and Plater reports they have been getting good numbers at the twice weekly training sessions.

“We have been doing a mix of field, pool and gym sessions, he said.

“Numbers have been starting to increase as word has gotten out that we have started.

Roosters club president, Chris Deighton said Plater was a “great fit for the job” of First Grade Coach.

“He’s earned the respect of the players and when you have that respect, it makes it 10 times easier to coach,” Deighton said.

“He’s passionate about the game and, as a school teacher, he’s also going to bring plenty of structure to the role.

Deighton said Plater and his partner Tia Turner, have proved to be valuable and hard working assets to the Roosters club since they arrived.

“Tom and Tia have been a very big breath of fresh air to our club, which has been great for us stale old people,” he quipped.

“A lot of Old Boys, players and non-players I’ve spoken with have welcomed Tom’s appointment as coach and said he was definitely the right pick for the job.”