Rhys Williams (U10), Ben Liyou (U11), Lewis Cooper (U12), Luke Sinclair (U13), Daniel Lavender (U14), and Rhys Hambly (U16).
Rhys Williams (U10), Ben Liyou (U11), Lewis Cooper (U12), Luke Sinclair (U13), Daniel Lavender (U14), and Rhys Hambly (U16).

Time to be a Ghost

THERE'S never been a better time to be a Ghost.

Following on from the success of the senior teams, six junior Ghosts teams will contest the first week of their finals.

The under-10s, 11s, 12s, 13s, 14s and 16s all finished the season in the top four, with the 16s claiming the minor premiership.

Under-16s captain Rhys Hambly was confident of winning his third premiership with the Ghosts.

"We've made the finals for the last five years in a row, and we won it the last two" Hambly said.

Hambly has played with the Ghosts for 10 years, with this season being one of the most successful.

"We were undefeated until last week," he said.

"We only had 12 players and ended up going down to Ballina by two points."

Treasurer Garry Berry applauded the efforts of all Ghosts players.

"It's been a really good year for the club," Berry said.

"To win the club championship and have the juniors more than match their success, it's just fantastic."

In what is truly a phenomenal year for the Ghosts, nine out of 10 teams have made the finals.

Even more incredibly, seven of those nine teams finished in the top two.

Ghosts' President Neil Payne said that a lot of the credit should go to everyone involved in the junior club.

"The coaches, supporters, volunteers - everyone involved in the juniors deserve most of the credit for the success the senior club is enjoying now," he said.

"Look at the First grade team - all 13 players are locals.

"The combined efforts of the support staff should be commended as neither the seniors or juniors could do it without them."

Other clubs have taken notice, with one telling the Ghosts that they're "the benchmark off the field as well as on it".

That success is marked with the last two First grade and U18s premierships, as well as the club running to a profit for the eight years.

"I've been involved with the club for five years and this is my first as president," Payne said.

"The club went through some difficult times around ten years ago, and the people that have been involved with the club since then have done a brilliant job."

The Ghosts celebrate their 50th anniversary next year, and it was the Ghosts' goal to have a strong year.

"After the success of the last few years we made it our goal to remain a force until at least our 50th year," he said.

"We've got a few big things planned for next year - it's going to be huge for the club."

Reflecting on his first year in charge, Payne said that he couldn't be happier.

"Regardless of the result on Sunday it's been a phenomenal year," he said.

"If you told me at the start of the year we'd have three senior teams in the grand final I would've laughed at you.

"Now, we're on the verge of history."

As super coach Jack Gibson once said "a successful team starts with a well managed front office".

A truer word has never been spoken about the Ghosts.

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