OPTIMISTIC: Tim Ross has joined Maroochydore Swans and is determined to do his bit to help them get back towards the top. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
OPTIMISTIC: Tim Ross has joined Maroochydore Swans and is determined to do his bit to help them get back towards the top. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

Former A-grade player of year eager to help Swans rebound

RUGBY LEAGUE: Rugged forward Tim Ross has returned to Maroochydore intent on helping them re-emerge as a force in the Sunshine Coast A-grade competition.

The 27-year-old was the premiership’s player of the year in 2016 after playing an inspirational role at Nambour but a knee injury in late 2017 pitched him to the surgery ward.

Ross snapped a piece of bone off the back of his kneecap and he missed 2018 before returning to action via C-grade with Palmwoods last year.

Now, he’s come back to A-grade to help Maroochydore recover from a shock slump last season, when they were eighth out of nine teams.

“Last year I tested the waters (at Palmwoods) to see how my knee held up after surgery and it was good and then the president of Maroochydore (Simon Graye) asked if I wanted to have a run around in first grade and I did,” Ross said.

“They’ve had a pretty rough gig there and it led me to decide to go down to a few training sessions and I thought I’d give it another crack.

“Maroochydore was in a pretty tough place after they lost a few players to retirement and stuff like that so when the president reached out, I saw it as a bit of a challenge. It just seemed like the right fit for me.”

Ross also played for the Swans from 2010 to 2014.

He believes this year’s crop of players have some potential.

“There are lots of young players, lots of juniors coming through the ranks,” he said.

“There’s plenty of skill and size, so there’s the makings of a good team and I think under Dennis Moore’s coaching, he should be able to bring out the best in them.”

He’s eagerly awaiting the start of the season, in mid-March.

“I can’t wait. C-grade last year was good, but I’ve got a real hunger for first grade, you know what I mean.”

“The competition and the popularity of it on the Sunshine Coast, it’s starting to get bigger with the extra teams. I just wanted to be a part of it.”

Beerwah and Stanley River rejoined the premiership race in 2018 and 2019 respectively, with the latter claiming the title upon their return.

The reigning premiers have had plenty of player turnover during the off-season, with some key men from last year retiring or linking to other teams.