Panthers name new captain for 2017 season
RUGBY LEAGUE: Panthers centre/half Karl Stevens has been named captain of the Biloela A-grade side for the 2017 season.
He takes over the role from Ryan Wilson, who performed dual captain-coach duties during his debut season with the side last year.
Wilson will retain coaching duties and still play with the team.
Stevens said he was proud to take on the captaincy of the A-grade side in his sixth year with the club.
"I started when I was 16 and I played juniors as well before that," he said.
"I'm a little bit (nervous) but it's not too bad. When you're in the halves you try to direct the team around a bit anyway, it's your role.
"I was captain of the younger sides in juniors, so we'll see how it goes."
Stevens' confidence would have been boosted during his first run as captain earlier this month, which saw the Panthers' win their home 9-a-side competition.
"It was a good tester - it's good to see where we're at for the season," he said.
"It's a different format of the game, but it's good to see where your fitness is at.
"We just held our own, stuck to our structure. It was working all day so we didn't change anything in the final. We just went out there and knew if we held the ball we'd win the game."
Tomorrow's 9-a-side competition in Rockhampton will be a chance for the Panthers to prove themselves, having made the final last year against favourites Yeppoon Seagulls.
"Yeppoon will definitely be up there again, and Woori with their ball skills as well, but we'll be (a contender) for sure," Stevens said.
"It's hard to say this time though because the Mackay Magpies are bringing a team down, so they'll be strong as well.
"We'll stick to the same plan, use our bench to effect and we've got a few of the older fellas back this weekend.
"But we'll keep blooding our younger fellas in, stick to our game plan and hopefully come up trumps."