We are coming for you
After spending months on the training paddock slogging through tough pre-seasons, the NDRL clubs have just one simple message...
NORTHERN Districts Rugby League teams are ready to take the field for their biggest season in years.
The NDRL expands to six clubs this season following the inclusion of Burnett Heads Cutters.
If that wasn’t big enough, this weekend’s opening round at Miriam Vale’s Gary Larson Oval will feature CQ Capras’ second-round Intrust Super Cup clash against Souths Logan Magpies.
Only the Town & Country was there for the NDRL’s official season launch at South Kolan Hotel last week, and the jovial mood among members from each club showed they were well and truly relaxed ahead of the monumental season.
President Greg Appo admitted there was a lot of work to do over the off-season but he was ready for his first season in charge.
“It’s a great thing we have going here,” he said in reference to the competition’s expansion.
But both he and assistant treasurer Robert “Neil” Redfern’s comments returned to this weekend’s feast of footy.
“It can’t get any better than this,” Redfern said of the Capras’ involvement in the opening round.
Redfern mentioned several highlights of the coming season, with the Women in League round, representative footy, and the grand final at Avondale all receiving mentions.
Gin Gin Hawks will celebrate 50 years this season as well, with plans for a function to coincide with home games on June 13.
Hawks president Michael McCotter welcomed Burnett Heads to the competition and stressed the importance of clubs working together.
“Northern Districts is probably the strongest competition in the region,” he said.
“We can be stronger with all clubs working together.
“(The Hawks are) planning a big year this year. Hopefully you’ll all come up and support us and we’ll support you as well.
“The boys have been turning up to training and going well, so bring it on.”
Gin Gin aren’t the only club preparing for a big season, with all other clubs gunning for the title.
Newcomers Burnett Heads thanked the NDRL for including the club in the competition, and while they readily admit they won’t set the world on fire, it is clear the finals are a clear goal.
South Kolan Sharks will have another slow start to their season as they wait for much of the squad to arrive.
The Sharks were belted 106-0 by Gin Gin in last year’s opening round, but eventually stormed home to win the NDRL premiership.
Will lightning strike twice? Only time will tell.
AgnesWater Marlins continue to improve, and have set the top four as their target.
Miriam Vale Magpies are ready for a big year on the field.
Avondale Tigers are a little light on troops but will be ready for the opening round.
Regardless of how they perform on the field, Appo said the competition had to do its best to help grow the sport.
“There’s been a lot of hard work to keep everything going and we all need to work together for the good of rugby league,” Appo said.
BRING IT ON: Club representatives at the NDRL season launch at the South Kolan Hotel on Saturday.