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...

Isis Town and Country - - Sport - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

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.

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

BRING IT ON: Club rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the NDRL sea­son launch at the South Kolan Ho­tel on Satur­day.

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