Highlands test for TDRL stars
GRASSROOTS footy will get another opportunity to shine this weekend when Townsville’s A grade representative team travels to Emerald to play the best Central Queensland can offer.
Townsville will play Central Highlands tonight as part of a renewed drive to establish a grassroots tournament similar to the Foley Shield now played between North Queensland’s Q Cup teams.
Some of the Townsville and Districts Rugby League’s most experienced campaigners will play alongside rising talents in the one- off game, which comes a month after the Northern Marlins’ state tournament. “I think it’s a very good squad, even though a few guys we would have liked to pick are unavailable,” Townsville coach Cameron Miller said.
“It’s basically about promoting grassroots players and providing them with an opportunity to be noticed by the Townsville Blackhawks and other systems.
“There’s no under- 20s or Blackhawks contracted players chosen in this team, they’re all from the local competition.
“The other reason we decided to get this running is because we’re pretty passionate about the Foley Shield, and even though we don’t have it for now, maybe we’re getting a step closer to holding a North Queensland tournament on a smaller scale by next year.”
Most of the Townsville squad has been drawn from joint TDRL ladder leaders Brothers and Western Lions, but other clubs including Burdekin and Centrals have also been represented.
“It looks like it will be a fairly strong Central Highlands team,” Miller said.
“That region of Queensland is just a passionate about rugby league as we are and they draw from strong club competitions, so we’ll have our hands full.
“It’s a fair bit of travelling to do by bus as well, and there isn’t much time between getting off and getting ourselves ready, so there’s that hurdle to get over.
“But I’m really confident it will be a great game of grassroots footy.”
TDRL chairman Ross Anderson said games such as tonight’s were essential in keeping grassroots footy alive.
“It’s another way for our local A graders to play rep footy,” he said. “They get to be tested at a higher level and the Blackhawks will be paying attention.” Townsville team Nathaniel Bowman, Shaq Congoo, BJ Munns, Dan Pickering, Tom McCagh, Wes Barrie, James Redman, Matt Laumea, Shane Hackett, Troy O’Neill, Jack Kelleher, Shane Cliff, Cade Maloney, Christian Power, Chippie Korostchuk, Daniel Mooka, Sione Veukiso, Mitchell Guy.
PRIMED: TDRL rep team members Nat Bowman ( West Lions), Mitchell Guy ( Burdekin Roosters), Troy O'Neill ( Charters Towers Miners), Jack Kelleher ( Brothers), James Redman ( Centrals Tigers) and Shane Hackett ( Uni).