Lower Clarence Magpies former president Bruce Howard (right) passes the baton to new club leader John Elisaia.
Lower Clarence Magpies former president Bruce Howard (right) passes the baton to new club leader John Elisaia. Contributed

Elisaia ready to ignite the heart of the Magpies

RUGBY LEAGUE: While quick to pay his respects to the team that went before him, incoming Lower Clarence Magpies' president John Elisaia said he is ready to take the club to new heights.

Elisaia was on the committee as vice-president last season, and said he looks forward to cementing the foundations for the future at Yamba League Field.

A former Wynnum Manly Seagulls player, Elisaia said there were a lot of similarities between the Magpies and the Seagulls when 'The King' Wally Lewis left the club in the mid-1980s.

"The parallels between the two clubs are unbelievable,” he said. "I have been through that before, and the thing the Lower supporters and players need to know is there is light at the end of the tunnel.

"It's just going to take some time to get there.”

The Magpies have struggled for consistency since taking out the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League premiership back in 2009, and were even on the verge of extinction two years ago.

There has also been a divide between different levels of the club in recent years, including among the playing group.

"We want to change the culture in this club, but before you can change the culture you need to change the commitment,” Elisaia said.

"This idea that you bring in a couple of good players and win a premiership that year is not a reality. There has been too much of a handout culture at the Magpies.”

Rumours have swirled that the Magpies are set to lose big name players, including marquee five-eighth Hughie Stanley, but Elisaia said it was something they would overcome.

"At the end of the day they either want to be here or they don't,” he said.


President: John Elisaia

Vice President: Terry Barnes..

Secretary: Belinda Martyn..

Treasurer: Aidan Daniels...

Publicity Officer: Wendy Pitkin

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