Magpies set to soar as NRRRL reveals 2017 draw
RUGBY LEAGUE: If you went to a Lower Clarence Magpies pre-season training session, you would not believe it is the same club that was forced to pull the pin on season 2016.
The club has come so far in 12 months that rather than worrying about whether they will get a team or not, captain-coach Dan Randall is worrying who he has to leave out of the side.
The black and whites have been averaging a healthy number of senior players at their early runs at Wherrett Park and only expect that number to climb as they draw closer to the NRRRL season kick-off on April 1.
"We have been averaging around 36 to 37 blokes at training each week, which is very pleasing," Randall said.
"It is a lot more than I thought, and I thought it would be all young blokes but there has been a healthy number of seniors."
While the numbers are causing a bit of a headache in terms of team selections, Randall admitted he had worked out the crux of a first grade unit but there were still a few positions vacant.
While the Magpies have been back on the paddock since early January it has only been the last few weeks where the club has truly hit their strides in work rate.
"When we first got back to the paddock everyone was a bit shot from Christmas and the holiday season, but the boys have really improved since then," he said.
"We will find out after our first trial where we need to go and what we need to do."
The leader said there was a good atmosphere building at the Magpies ahead of the season and it stretched past the sidelines.
"I am very confident, it is going to be a good year," he said. "Not only on the field but off it as well."
"All the partners and families are getting involved off the field, so it is really turning into the family club I set out to create.
"Family is really important. I know all the boys in the side have got kids and it is good to see them coming down running around while we're playing. they are our future, so it is pretty big."
The Magpies will kick off the NRRRL season at their new home ground in Yamba against the Byron Bay Red Devils on April 2.
Will Lower Clarence Magpies reach the NRRRL finals in 2017?
This poll ended on 09 August 2017.
Yes. NRRRL champions in 2017.
Yes. They'll scrape in, but no premiership this year.
No. An improved showing but a finals berth is still out of reach.
No. The wooden spoon awaits ... again.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Lower Clarence's NRRRL schedule for 2017
Rd 1: Byron Bay (h) (April 2)
Rd 2: Ballina (a) (April 9)
Rd 3: Casino (h) (April 23)
Rd 4: Murwillumbah (a) (April 30)
Rd 5: Mullumbimby (h) (May 7)
Rd 6: Bye (May 14)
Rd 7: Cudgen (a) (May 21)
Rd 8: Evans Head (h) (May 28)
Rd 9: Maris Bros. (a) (June 4)
Long Weekend Break
Rd 10: Tweed Coast (h) (June 18)
Rd 11: Kyogle (a) (June 25)
Rd 12: Byron (a) (July 2)
Rd 13: Ballina (h) (July 9)
Rd 14: Mullumbimby (a) (July 16)
Rd 15: Murwillumbah (h) (July 23)
Rd 16: Marist Bros. (h) (July 30)
Rd 17: Bye (August 6)
Rd 18: Cudgen (h) (August 13)
Finals Week 1 (August 20)
Finals Week 2 (August 27)
Finals Week 3 (September 3)
Grand Final (September 10)
* Note that all games are played on Sundays unless the Clubs mutually agree to a change in time and/or venue.