THE tiny Aboriginal community of Cherbourg outside Murgon in the South Burnett region has received a great boost for it?s junior rugby league. The Redcliffe Dolphins have provided about $2000 worth of essential equipment, enabling the 120 young children to play each week.
Goalpost pads, tackling bags, football boots and donated boots, as well as medical kits and Dolphin caps, were enthusiastically accepted by the club. Club president Warren Collins was over the moon with the donation and said that the expression on the kids? faces told the story.
They were amazed that someone would give them this equipment. ?Is this really for us?? was the question all the young boys were asking. Dolphin players Dustin Cooper a Murgon junior, Adrian Bond and Leigh Coghill were huge hits with the kids with Leigh beating them all in arm wrestling.
Brian Winney from Northstar Mitsubishi, major sponsor of our juniors and a former first grade halfback for the Dolphins accompanied the players along with development manager Neil Bishop as the initial correspondence was suggested by Northstar, who deal extensively with the Cherbourg community.
The Redcliffe Dolphins board of directors is to be congratulated on their assistance to this underprivileged town, and who knows, the next Steve Renouf to come out of Cherbourg could be in a red and white jersey.
IT was international day at Lang Park , but for a change it wasn't Lewis, Miles and Scott who were the stars. As Redcliffe humbled premiers Wynnum - Manly 30-7 to knock them out of the running for for the '87 Winfield Cup, the Dolphins international front row of Bryan Niebling, Greg Conescu and Dave Brown were the stars.
12 top players ready to sign
Redcliffe are prepared to join forces with Van de Velde and Associates to put a team into the Sydney premiership. And Dolphins president, Dick Turner said if his club was successful, they would still maintain their commitments in the Brisbane competition.
The eleventh hour call by the New South Wales Rugby League has opened the door for Redcliffe, who already have a list of a ? dozen or so ? players to bolster their ranks. ? At this stage I wouldn?t like to publicly name the players, but you wouldn?t have to be Einstein to work out who they were,? Turner said.
REDCLIFFE will now take on Queensland Cup debutants Brothers-Valleys in their first trial of 2004. The two clubs will contest all three grades.
REDCLIFFE Dolphins coach Neil Wharton has named an inexperienced line up for the defending premiers first hit out for the new season against Brothers Valleys on Saturday night. The Dolphins also have an under 19 side travelling to Ballina on the same day to face the Northern Rivers under 18's.
THE Cousin Connection
John and Greg do it for ?Dallas?
John Richards and Greg Donnelly of Redcliffe are colourful characters. Both enjoy a good laugh and a fair dinkum belly laugh. But when it comes to football, they?ll earnestly tell you their chief desire is etched in black and white.
The two cousins are related to the late John ?Dallas? Donnelly ? the larger than life legend from Gunnedah and Wests in Sydney. And after hearing the Sydney Magpies had struck a memorial trophy in honour of the lovable prop both Richards and Donnelly concurred that to go to Wests and win the award would be the ultimate honour.
?Winning that prize would be the event of my career,? said Donnelly the Redcliffe fullback.
Richards also said it would be a great honour to win the Dallas award but he stressed sentiment alone would not drive him to Lidcombe Oval. ? It would be tremendous to win that trophy. But before such a move, I?d need to look at the change in it?s right perspective,? he said. ?By that I mean I?d need to look at it financially and career-wise.?
The death of John Donnelly has had a devastating effect on the duo. And months after the tragedy, it still pains them to discuss their feelings. ?It?s been hard to take. Johnny (Richards) and I still can?t believe it. We were heading over to play Wynnum when we heard it on the news and it hurt all the way,? said Greg. ?We both played that game especially for him, and beating Wynnum made things seem worthwhile.? Richards explained his grief, ?It was a real tragedy the family are so close, we were really shocked. He was only young but did do a lot of living?. Still, he had a lot to live for,? he lamented.
Since leaving Gunnedah at the start of the year, both Donnelly and Richards have enjoyed unforseen success. Donnelly has starred in the Redcliffe A Grade fullback spot while Richards? wing prowess won him a spot in the Brisbane National Panasonic Cup side against Manly last month. And the irrepressible John Donnelly spirit radiated through him a few days before his showdown with the Sydney silvertails. ?My cousin was ?Dallas? Donnelly, so I won?t need much motivation against Manly,? was his stirring proclamation to the press.
As it turned out Richards was shaking like a leaf before the big game. ? While all the other players were taking a nap during the day, I stayed up watching television. I was so nervous.
?Before the game players like Wally Fullerton-Smith and Bryan Niebling had a yarn with me to settle me down.?
Before leaving the NSW country town, Donnelly encountered some drama of his own through a work accident. While cutting up lamb at the local abattoir, he miscued his timing and sliced off his right index finger. ?It was a bit gory at the time but after some microsurgery, it?s as good as new. I intend to be more careful,? he joked.
The only pie Donnelly wants his finger in now is Rugby League! And cousin John?s rating of him shows he holds him in high stead. ?He?s got all the right kind of attributes to make his own kind of a mark in A Grade. He never quits and never gives an inch,? says Richards.
Donnelly returned the compliment with a wholehearted appraisal of the big, strong winger. ?He?s not scared to run the ball straight and hard. He wouldn?t think twice about relieving the forwards when it comes to taking the ball up.?
The people of Gunnedah, steeped in ?Dallas? Donnelly folklore, would vouch for their skill. Big John would be proud.
ONLY Redcliffe could have stood the pace and been in there fighting at the end against the mighty Valley Diehards in Sunday?s Grand Final. At a rough estimate I think five in every six of the 42,000 fans at Lang Park wanted to see Redcliffe win. They had nothing against Valleys but it?s the old Australian character to yell for the underdog and Redcliffe certainly were the underdogs of the match.
THE Redcliffe and District Rugby League Football Club may have only been in the Brisbane Rugby League first grade competition since 1960, but the club has a very proud history, which dates back to 1947.
REDCLIFFE Dolphins the junior club of current NRL players Petero Civoniceva, Brent Tate, Dane Carlaw, Michael Crocker, Dale Newton, Trent Clayton, David Stagg, Brad Watts and Danny Nutley is having it's junior sign on day on Sunday 8th February starting at 9.30am and going through to midday.
REDCLIFFE will play three trials prior to the Season proper.