NRRRL: Tweed blueprint one Magpies could follow
RUGBY LEAGUE: I took the chance to accompany the under-18s to Tweed for the first 'home' game and learnt a lot from the experience.
Tweed Coast Raiders are back in the competition and can teach us a few lessons if we are to have senior sides next year.
They have no under-18 team of their own and acommodated our club in the junior timeslot instead. They really welcomed our boys and made their staff and facilities readily available.
We took one of their boys into our squad as well, to give us 16 players in all. He sat with our players after the match and we looked like a team/club in our new shirts on display for all to see. Their behaviour on and off the field was a credit to the club.
The ground at Cabarita was in superb condition and on par with any NRL suburban ground.
Many of our committee commented how the Yamba complex could look very similar if that's the way the future goes.
That dream has begun with the board of management having already met with NRL infrastructure people and the local federal member Kevin Hogan earlier in the month at the Yamba complex. It's election time isn't it?
What stood out for me in discussions with some of their committee was that the club do not pay ANY of their players or coaches and that is something we may have to look at.
There wasn't a lot of difference in standard between their two senior sides with the reserves running out easy winners and the A-grade side going down in a close match to Casino. The reserve grade coach said he has 20 at training on most nights.
Another feature was the amount of manpower they had at their disposal to run the day.
Apart from match officials, there was staff in the rooms and in the canteen and blokes ready to lend a hand at the bar. It tells us that if Magpies are going to be a force again, it cannot be left to the same old few.
It looks like the bus trips will be a feature of the season for the 18s. The club needs to ensure that ALL players travel as a group and give three cheers for the bus driver as they hit the Harwood bridge. It is a tradition after all.