Silktails Boso Excited For Baby Silktails

Kaiviti Silktails Executive Director will be unable to attend the historic Melanesian Bowl event due to medical reasons, but he will be watching the team he has labelled the ‘Baby Silktails’ live on NSWRL TV in Sydney when they take on former Q Cup Champions the PNG Hunters this Saturday at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.

Driscoll completed what he described as the toughest 5 months of his life, travelling back and forth from Sydney to Lautoka on as many occasions, picking up two years’ worth of re-location from their Australian training base in Daceyville, Sydney and setting it back up at their Centre of Excellence in Lautoka.

“On my last occasion I was so sick I thought I had dengue fever which blood tests cleared me of, but with my immune system so run down whatever the virus I had it just nailed me.” said Driscoll.

Driscoll will have to wait until the Round 2 clash against the Bulldogs on March 25 at Churchill Park against the Canterbury Bulldogs to watch the team he has nicknamed the ‘Baby Silktails’ play for the first time in Fiji since 2020.

“I actually missed the clubs first ever game in Fiji back in 2020 as I had just taken up the Interim CEO role to help Petero out, and I was in Australia planning for the team’s first game in Sydney then Covid hit wiping out the entire competition.”

With the average age of the entire 2023 Silktails squad sitting at the age of 20.5, you can see why the ‘Baby Silktails’ name has stuck.

“The ‘Baby Silktails’ is something I said in passing during a discussion I had with one of our sponsors. We held our Inaugural Rookie Camp back in October last year and they performed so well 18 of those players Head Coach Wes Naiqama invited them to do the pre-season with us.” said the Fijian born Driscoll.

“Our Head Coach Wes Naiqama is building a reputation as an outstanding Development Coach, and this is reflective the amount of players that have progressed on from our footy program. The way our young players in our 2022 squad finished the season was testament again to Wes and the Footy program we run.”

“Tomorrow will be a big test for the boys and a step up for our young players but regardless of the result we will better for the experience going into their first 24-week season. Even more exciting is that we will have Watisoni Waqanisaravi, Meli Nasau and Simione Cakau join the squad when the Silktails arrive in Sydney after completing a pre-season with the Roosters.”

The Silktails ‘Boso’ as he is affectionately referred to by Silktails players and staff is no stranger to developing Elite Rugby League talent, having worked across three NRL Clubs in the South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Gold Coast Titans and the Sydney Roosters as well as the NSW Origin Team and the Fiji Bati over a 20 year period.

Silktails Board Member Jay Gounder spoke of the value Driscoll brings to the Silktails. “Steve has worked with players such as Boyd Cordner, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Joey Manu and Latrell Mitchell to name a few during his time as their S&C Coach in Elite Pathways at the Roosters.” said the ex Natabua student Gounder, who hails from Ra in Fiji.

“That along with Bati players such as Api Koroisau, Kane Evans and Kevin Naiqama and bringing them through the Australian Fijian Rugby League program from the age of 16.”

Driscoll’s initial involvement with the Silktails was coming on board with Silktails as a sponsor through his company Pacific Facility Services during the bid phase of the project, committing the equipment to the clubs Centre of Excellence in Lautoka.

“I took on the Interim CEO’s role temporarily and three years later I’m still here. Working in this club presents a whole different challenge in bringing boys from the village and into a High-Performance Environment and playing in an Australian competition. Despite those challenges and the adversity this club has faced on personal note, doing this has been just so rewarding and watching our Baby Silktails tomorrow will be no different.”