EVERGREEN prop Troy Lindsay is busy rewriting records with the Emerald Group Dolphins.Lindsay last month became only the second Dolphin to reach 250 first grade matches when he ran out on to Kougari Oval to take on Wynnum Manly in their Queensland Cup clash.The occasion was marked by a banner from the Red and White Supporters Club plus a few words at the club's after-match function.Only Peter Leis (261 matches) stands between Lindsay and the honour of being Redcliffe's match record-holder.If he maintains his form and stays injury-free, Lindsay should take on Leis' mantle by the end of the second round of fixtures this season.The only other Dolphins to have reached 200 first grade matches are Trevor Benson (237) and Tony Obst (230)."This is a fairly good achievement," a modest Lindsay said. "Not too many players get to make 250 games."I haven't thought too much about Peter's 261 games because I have not got there yet. I've got to get there first."Greg Bourke equalled the Queensland Cup points scoring record on the same day at Kougari."Remarkably, Lindsay is the only forward out of the quartet to break the 200-mark mark, although Obst moved into the pack late in his career."I've never played in the backs," a joking Lindsay quipped.Lindsay, who has just turned 33, has overcome a knee injury to register his landmark."I was out for five weeks at the start of the season," he said. "I had a grade two medial tear but it was fixed and it's been good since."I'm still enjoying my football, even more so now than when I was younger because I realise it is coming to a close. You learn how to enjoy it more."Lindsay has been at Dolphin Oval since 1989 when he joined the Redcliffe junior ranks."And I've been there ever since," he said.Premierships, representative honours, players of the year, captaincy ... there's no honour to escape the Wamuran farmer.Apart from running his property, he has branched out as a hay merchant and transporter.Despite the loss of Shane Perry to the Broncos this season, Lindsay embraced the link with the NRL superpower."I think it's a good thing because it allows Redcliffe to keep our younger players rather than have them turn around and play us," he said."We could keep players like Michael Bond, Wayne Bond, Liam Georgetown with us for a couple of years before they're good enough to move up to the Broncos."Fellow farmer Leis paid tribute to Lindsay, saying it was a testament to his fitness and enthusiasm that he was still playing so strongly.
ROB Campbell set the trend several years ago at Dolphin Oval with international rugby league honours.
Through a grand parent's heritage, big Rob turned out for Russia in World Cup qualifiers.
Now another Emerald Group Dolphin has claimed international honours. Lively winger Adam Fletcher is a current Greece international and is licking his lips at the prospect of a match in Greece at the end of this year as well as the 2008 World Cup. There's also a planned match against Fiji in October.
The Greek side boasts some handy players, including Wests Tigers premiership prop John Skandalis, coach Steve Georgallis and first graders George Gatis, Willie Peters and Michael Kokardis, although the majority of the squad don't play at a high level. Even Roosters superstar Braith Anasta could come into the picture.
"I've played with the Greek national side a few times already," he said. "I qualify because both my grandparents were Greek, which also gives me a European Union passport qualification. It's the same as if I was born in England.
"This is really handy for playing rugby league in England as I would not talking up an import spot, which usually go to NRL players.''
"My ambition this season is to consolidate a spot in the Dolphins' top side and if nothing eventuates from that try to get a start in England and then hopefully work my way into a Super League club."
A newcomer to the club this season, Fletcher, 22, joined from the Magpies component in the premiership Wests Tigers conglomerate.
"I played for the Wests side out of Campbelltown in the NSW Premier League," he said. "As a team we were not too crash hot, but the first grade winning the premiership created a good atmosphere and it was all a good experience and I learned a lot of things."
Originally a Brisbane Norths product, Fletcher joined the Magpies in 2005 as a winger.
"I played my junior football with Brothers Holy Spirit at Bray park and the Pine Rivers Bears before going over to North to play Colts," he said.
"I played fullback in Norths but I have gradually moved to the wing, although I feel comfortable in either spot."
Fletcher turned out for two seasons with Norths' then feeder club Aspley before spending 2001 with the Devils' Colts, enduring a grand final loss to Redcliffe at Dolphin Oval.
"We lost 12-10, or something like that, and were warm favourites as we had a good team," he said.
"It included Bill Slater, Jake Webster, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk. The second year I spent in Colts and reserve grade.
"I knew Anthony Griffin as he was the Norths Colts coach before he was appointed assistant coach at the Storm and also contacted Mark Murray, who said Redcliffe needed some outside backs.
"I gave James Hinchey a call and it went from there. I live at Bray Park with my parents so it is was easy to move back to Brisbane."
Fletcher had been working with the Skins apparel outfit at Campbell as well as studying to become a personal trainer. That is still an ambition, although for the moment he is helping out at his family's snack bar at Brendale.
"I usually work from seven in the morning to about two, when it slackens off," eh said. "The hours work in really well with football."
Fletcher started this season in Premier League, notching five appearances before dropping back to A grade.
"I need a couple of big games to get back into the Premier league," he said. "There's a good buzz around the club with all three grades doing well."
THEY were once fierce rivals on the field, both little generals directing their huge forward packs around the ground in the glory years of the 70s.
They both played for one of the world's greatest rugby league clubs and against some of the games best, yet had never spoken a word to each other.
It was fitting that they should shake hands for the first time at the Redcliffe Leagues Club at the official Dolphins season launch.
It wasn't until Des Webb announced that Paynter Dixon was to be the new short sponsor of the Dolphins and introduced Mark Shulman as their business development manager that long-time Dolphins junior official Brian Winney finally realised he was in the presence of an old sparring partner.
Mark said he was surprised to see Brian at the launch after so many years.
"Halfbacks are often serious students of the game, so it is great to see Brian getting involved not only with the Redcliffe juniors but also as a representative on the QRL coaching panel," he said.
"Paynter Dixon is very excited to be a major sponsor of the Dolphins. We believe we can help the club grow with our experience and expertise in project management."
Brian was equally surprised about the Paynter Dixon connection.
"It was funny to see Mark again. We both played for St George, we nearly played against each other in 1971 when I moved to Wests and a few years later, Mark bought my house when I moved to Queensland," Brian said.
"Over the past 20 years I have seen the Dolphins grow and become one of the most successful and recognisable clubs in Queensland. Speaking to Mark at the launch made me realise there is bigger and better things to come and I can tell you there is no one better than Mark or Paynter Dixon to have on board."
With these two great characters of the game supporting the club, it is no wonder the Dolphins can expect great things in season 2006.
Paynter Dixon, the official short sponsor of the Dolphins, brings with them the experience of an award-winning long-term Australian identity which has expertise in building and redevelopment in the club, hotel, commercial and industrial industries.
QUITE often it only takes that lucky break for a footballer to make a career breakthrough.
Forget all the blood, sweat and tears over many seasons ... a twist of fate sometimes dictates his future.
Although only 20, New Zealand Chris Fox knows something about the vagaries of rugby league.
A promising junior in Wellington, he was snapped up by the Auckland-based New Zealand Warriors as a member of their development squad.
Although his parents live in Auckland, Fox still calls Wellington home and Wainuiomata in Lower Hutt his junior club.
Current international Paul Whatuira and rising Cowboys star David Faiumu also hail from the same club.
While Fox played for Wellington in the national Bartercard Cup competition, he also trained one night a week with the Warriors development squad in Auckland.
Disillusioned by the departure of Warriors coach Daniel Anderson, Fox asked his manager to find him a new club at the start of last season.
"I asked him to get me somewhere and I ended up at Redcliffe," Fox said. "I didn't know anything about the Queensland Cup yet alone the Redcliffe club. I was told it was near Brisbane and that was it."
Fox turned up at Redcliffe in January last year, played a trial and found himself in the club's A grade.
"I found it tough at the start as I'm pretty quiet and I was meeting new players all the time," he said.
"And the heat was something else. Coming from Wellington I was used to it being cold and raining. I love it here now and won't go back home. My confidence picked up at the end of last season and I gained a good insight of what was needed to make the top grade."
Fox loved the conditions and competition so much that he ended up Redcliffe's player of the year in A grade, a fair achievement for any newcomer to a club as strong as the Dolphins.
"I was helped by the fact that I didn't miss any games during the season," he said. "A lot of players went back and forth to Premier League and I stayed in A grade.
"I started at five-eighth, then went to centre and then fullback. The position I quite like is five-eighth."
With his versatility, about the only position he can't play is front-row.
The 2006 season brought more rewards for the nuggetty Fox, even though club captain Shane Perry maintains a hold on the No. 6 jersey in Premier League.
Included in the top team's train-on squad for last year's finals, Fox was elevated to the Dolphins' top squad from the first fixture of the season.
"I've been getting about half a game," he said. "My job is to come on and help out when some of the boys are getting tired.
"I have been playing mainly hooker and some five-eighth. I love the tackling over here. The code is tougher back home but it's faster here and the skills are better. It's more of a bash-up at home."
No relation to famous All Blacks kicking machine Grant Fox, the younger version weighs in at 85 kilograms.
He keeps fit working as a paver/concreter with fellow Dolphin Richie Russell for the Redcliffe-based Redpine Paving.
He also has had more good news this season with the arrival of his girlfriend from New Zealand.
"She keeps me on track and it's all going well," he said. "My next goal is to try to get a crack at the NRL.
"It doesn't matter what club it is, I'd just like to have a shot at it. The opportunity is here at Redcliffe to impress the right people."
He is going about it the right way with his first Queensland Cup try against Easts in round 4.
"I wanted to get a try," he said. "I was playing five-eighth and it was the last play of the game."
He followed up with a try in the televised round 6 match against the Norths Devils, a fixture when he came into his own as Perry was on duty with the Broncos again.
Fox rode his luck in the week leading up to the Norths match as he had to appear before the judiciary on a kicking charge. Luckily for himself and the club he was cleared and took his place at the base of the scrum with Marty Turner.
MORETON Bay has proved an irresistible lure to new Dolphin Alwyn Simpson.
The quicksilver back joined the Redcliffe club in the off-season from NSW Premier League club Balmain. Starting on the bench in A grade, he quickly worked his way up and now finds himself on the flank in the top side.
THE first major event for 2006 happens this month with our junior sign-on day set down for Sunday, February 12. The day will kick off at 9.30am in the Dolphin oval dressing sheds and will finish by 11.30am. The Dolphins Old Boys will provide a free sausage sizzle and drinks for the kids with our good friends and major sponsor Keystar Auto World handing out giveaways to every player. Any new players wanting to sign up should bring along a birth certificate or equivalent proof of age as well as two passport size photos on the day.Registration fees are $45, which includes a club polo shirt for every player. Won't it be great to see our teams arriving at games in 2006 looking like a team that is proud of their club? Anyone wanting to help out on sign-on day can contact Grant Cleal on 3203 7333.The Redcliffe Dolphins junior coaches took part in a coaching camp last month at Alexandra Headlands. The camp was held over two days with our coaching team getting a lot of useful tips on coaching junior rugby league.Coaching staff from the senior Dolphins were on hand to take the boys through their paces with head coach Anthony Griffin, strength and conditioner Tony Guilfoyle, kicking coach Doug Hale and Colts coach Craig "Trigger" Ingebrigtsen passing on experiences to rest of the camp. Coaches from the under 11s to the under 18s had first contact from the coaching staff from our new affiliate club, the Brisbane Broncos. This was the first step in a long and continued effort by both clubs to make sure that every junior who registers with the Dolphins receives the best coaching available. A coaching information night also was organised in January for coaches taking on teams in the younger age groups (under 7-10). Members of the Broncos coaching staff and Dolphins junior development addressed these coaches about the club's expectations for 2006 and finished the night off with some field work. Coaches are still required for some of the younger teams.IN 2005, the Dolphins had six under seven, four under eight, four under nine and four under 10 teams playing in modified footy competitions. We expect to have at least that number again in 2006. For these youngsters to get their chance to play league, we need some special help.Dolphins teams have been fortunate over recent seasons with a more than capable group of referees officiating over local games.We need to recruit seven new starters to our referees ranks and that magnificent 7 are needed now.The main criteria is that you must want to improve your fitness level marginally, are happy to involve yourself for an hour or so on a Sunday morning, be available for games that are all played at Dolphin Oval, complete a referees course run locally by the QRL and be a part of the start of our youngest champions fulfilling their dreams.There may even be a future career awaiting someone that takes on refereeing this year.Age or gender is no barrier with male and female referees officiating, the minimum age is 14 and there are granddads refereeing at many clubs.To register your desire to find out more about this vital role, contact Grant or Katrina at the Dolphins on 3203 7333. Remember, we need 7 so the kids can play.
REDCLIFFE coach Anthony Griffin was instrumental in the Melbourne Storm signing Pat Gardner as a teenager.So it's ironic that Gardner lines up with the Dolphins this season even though Griffin had moved to Melbourne as Gardner arrived at Bishop Park to start football life as a Norths devil."When I was with Norths I received a tip-off from our scout in Cairns," Griffin said."The player he was praising was Pat, who as an 18-year-old was playing with the Cairns Cyclones in the state League. We signed him but as he arrived I went to Melbourne to coach."Pat has been with Norths first grade for the past four seasons and he has been a shandy away from playing NRL."We're lucky to have him here with us. He still harbours ambitions of playing NRL, but if that doesn't happen he would be perfect to be one of our frontline props when Adam Starr and Troy Lindsay call it a day."Pat is a great acquisition for our club because he has the size, experience of 60-70 starts in the Cup and is only 24."We're lucky that we have a number of established props in Clint Fraser. Damien Jentz and Darren Glase from Souths Logan who should figure this season. They are all in their early to mid 20s and have all the right attributes."And we have a prop coming through from Colts in Brad Massey who shows a bit."Gardner hails from Innisfail in North Queensland, the same hometown as Billy Slater, but Pat plays the game in a far different manner to the fleet-footed fullback. A tough no-nonsense prop who tops 108 kilograms, he did the pre-season with Storm's top squad last year and impressed coach Craig Bellamy with his work ethic.Gardner will spend a week this pre-season at the Broncos as topline Dolphins are rotated through their training program.Redcliffe skipper Shane Perry is an exception as he has been training with the Brisbane side since before Christmas with injury clouds over Brett Seymour and Darren Lockyer.The Broncos have handed on a handy acquisition to Redcliffe in young Kiwi outside back Kaine Manihera. He came across the Tasman at the end of last season after starring with the Canterbury Bulls in the tough Bartercard Cup.
IT looks like a direct swap. Off to Penrith goes youngster Wayne Bond and in comes experienced half Marty Turner from England.Of course, it's not that simple as numerous players will come into calculations before the first Queensland Cup match is staged.Skipper Shane Perry is a constant in Dolphins halves with 19 appearances last season and Mick Roberts raking up 20 at half and hooker.Bond played only six Queensland Cup matches in 2005, however his impact at half and five-eighth was dramatic and his spot will be keenly contested.Turner, 24, has already arrived at Dolphin Oval and slotted in well at training in the humid Queensland conditions.What a change from chilly Oldham Roughyeds in northern England where he spent last season. Known simply as Oldham RLFC until 1995 when they adopted the name Oldham Bears to coincide with the start of Super League, they went bankrupt in 1997 and a new team with the current name was formed to play at a lower level. The Roughyeds tag had been a long-accepted nickname for the old club."I had a good time in England even though we struggled into seventh out of 10 teams in League One of the National leagues, which is a level below Super League," the New Zealand-born Turner said. "I don't know whether I'd go back. Maybe for a holiday."Although Oldham had several other Kiwis on its books, Turner was treated as its quota player and lived up to expectations."I played about 30 games at halfback during the season and only missed one through injury," he said. Turner comes to the Dolphins with a wealth of experience through the Storm-Brisbane Norths tie-up.It was through that link that Redcliffe coach Anthony Griffin knew of Turner's capabilities and sought a replacement for Bond."Anthony was my coach in Colts in my first year at Norths in 2000 and then was assistant coach at the Storm," Turner said. "He contacted me when I was in England and asked if I was interested in coming back home."As it was, I was looking at returning to Australia and had told Pat Gardner, who's now at Redcliffe, that very fact. Maybe the word filtered around."Turner spent five seasons with the Storm set-up and played a number of NRL matches, although he is perhaps best known for a near-fatal car accident in April 2002 after he had deputised for Matt Orford in the NRL."I missed the rest of 2002 and it took me the best part of a year to get over the accident," he said. "I'm pretty lucky that I'm now back to 100 percent."The training so far at Redcliffe has been tough and good. It's a good club and I'm fitting in well at training and with the guys."I know Clint Fraser and Adam Fletcher form my days at Norths, but I have to admit it will be a bit strange to run out in Redcliffe's colours after regarding them as the team to beat for seasons."Turner is not allowing the grass to grow under his feet back in Australia. While he is doing landscaping work with a mate at present, he is keen to start an apprenticeship as an electrician.
THE Dolphins aim to ensure a highly competitive and sportsmanlike performance across all teams that represent Redcliffe Junior Rugby League.Volunteers who have been appointed to coach our juniors are well qualified and enthusiastic to take on the challenges of the 2006 season.Coaches of our Dolphin junior teams are: Under 18 age group Lee Munt; 17s Doug Kellaway, Paul Bateman; 16s Adam Chapman, Kevin Muir; 15s Don Gailer, Russell Lahiff, Adam Maller, Darren Smallhorne, John Durston; 14s Kevin Maund, Jason Warr, Neil Fursey, Cam Cherry; 13s Brett Morris, Stuart Huiarangi, Nathan Wallace; 12s Troy Best, Mark Thacker, Adrian Beaven, Matt Tomlinson; 11s John Boxsell, Steve Peoples; 10s Arron Lambourn, Patrick Murphy; 9s Mark Charlton, David McDonald, Darryn Watts; 8s Bruce Castle, Greg Gray, Mark Payne, Tony Vidler; 7s Shane Jackson, Jamie McDonald, Duane Scott.Congratulations are extended to the coaches and we thank them for their commitment to promote the skills, fitness, activities and sportsmanship to our Dolphin juniors.Coaching positions remain available in some age groups with the Dolphins management keen to encourage applicants for assistant coach and trainer roles.It is also recommended that each side includes a first aid officer as part of its management team and courses to qualify applicants for all of these positions will be conducted locally by the Queensland Rugby League-South East Division development staff in the pre-season period of 2006.For inquiries and nomination forms for any of these courses, contact Grant Cleal on 3203 7333 or email [email protected] further prepare our Dolphins junior teams for competition in 2006, there is a planning and strategy camp organised for coaches of the under 11 to 18 age groups. This camp will take place on the Sunshine Coast on January 21-22 and coaches will gain the benefit of our newly formed association with the Brisbane Broncos, with coaching personnel from the NRL club addressing our group.There also will be a modified footy coaching clinic conducted this month to offer specific instruction for our under seven to under 10 team coaches.Make it fun for everyone with the Dolphins.
THREE junior Dolphins will reap the first benefits of the recently signed Broncos-Redcliffe partnership agreement.Promising under 17 forward Matt Handcock, Colts outside back Matt Gillett and 2005 under 14As best and fairest Matt Humphreys have been chosen to attend a Broncos elite players training camp this month.Although not contracted to the Broncos, the Redcliffe trio has gained spots at the camp, which features the cream of the broncos' scholarship holders from across Queensland and New South Wales. Redcliffe development officer Grant Cleal said the junior Dolphins chosen by Redcliffe were first and foremost of good character and would represent their club with pride.