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.
TO a rugby league player, a decade is a lifetime.Mark Shipway will discover time has not stood still when returns to Dolphin Oval next season.The last time he donned the red and white jersey was in 1996 in a Brisbane grand final against Souths.The teenage centre had already played in that season's Queensland Cup grand final, carrying a dislocated shoulder, before popping it again in the premiership decider.Ten years later he has signed with Redcliffe as a hard-hitting backrower who has been with two NRL clubs and a Super League outfit."I went from Redcliffe to the Cowboys for five years," he said. "Then it was two years with Manly before two seasons with the Salford City Reds."At 29, Shipway believes he still has plenty of football left in him and always intended to come home with his Australian bride Jodie, the daughter of former Redcliffe coach John Barber."I had still been following Redcliffe's progress on the Internet and had a couple of mates from the Cowboys playing with the club," he said."Of course, I had played with James Hinchey and kept in close contact. When it came time to come home to live here, it wasn't a hard decision to sign up."Like all footballers, I've had a few little injury problems but the body still feels good."'Shippy' will find former team-mates scarce at Dolphin Oval, although the indestructible Troy Lindsay shows no signs of weakening."The guys I played with were the likes of Hinchey,Wayne Miller, Crusher Cleal,Ricky Hewinson, Robbo and Danny Nutley," he said."I know Greg Bourke well from my time at the Cowboys but I can't put any faces to the names who will be at the club next season so it's hard to say how we will go, but we will be training hard in the next couple of months so I'm bound to get a good idea of our prospects."I've not seen any games but I know that the Queensland Cup goes from strength to strength especially with the NRL clubs using it as a feeder system." Shipway needs no introduction to coach Anthony Griffin, who was Redcliffe's development officer during his time with the Dolphins.Super League clubs are allowed three overseas players and ironically there was a Redcliffe connection to Shipway's departure from Salford.The Reds swooped on former Dolphin Aaron Moule from the Widnes Vikings, signing the free-scoring centre for two seasons."I enjoyed England and it was all a great experience," he said. 'I got to travel around and have a look at the world, but it's good to be back here in a warmer climate."Shipway also is trying to tie up a new profession after a fulltime playing career.He has applied for a QRL development officer post, saying he had attended numerous schools and camps during his time with the Cowboys and Manly as well as helping coach an under 16 team at Salford. "I've never had to apply for a job as my last job was in the office at the Redcliffe Leagues Club," he said. "It's time to get back to a normal life."
REDCLIFFE Dolphins coach Anthony Griffin thought he knew all about the anguish of coaching after his first Queensland Cup match in charge.
He had watched his new charges go down to a 60-point drubbing at the hands of Norths, his former employer.
But, according to Griffin, that was nothing compared with the tidal wave of emotions during the club's final two matches of the season.
After eliminating the Toowoomba Clydesdales 23-22 in week one of the semi-finals at Dolphin Oval, Griffin's men ran up against Norths in an elimination minor semi-final at Bishop Park.
The Devils had been favourites to take out the titles only a few weeks before, but the Dolphins dispelled any notions of that with a 33-10 thumping.
Then it was down to ominous task of fronting up to premiers Burleigh Heads at Pizzey Park in the preliminary final.
That Redcliffe got within a try of the premiers speaks volumes for the quality of the Redcliffe squad.
"I was shattered for my players," Griffin said. "As bad as it was for all the coaching and club staff, it was one hundred times worse for the players.
"I know how much it took out of them physically and the number of them that were playing with injuries.
"To be 18-6 behind to Burleigh at their home ground and come back and lead with three minutes was a great effort. I've never experienced anything like that finish before.
"At the start of the season I had no preconceived idea of what we wanted to achieve. All we were concentrating on was the work that was needed to help improve the place.
"But after the black opening day when he lost both the Colts and State League by 60 points, everyone responded and learned from their mistakes."
He said the Bears were still the benchmark of the Queensland Cup, and if his side had got through against them, he was confident they could go on and claim another Cup victory.
But the Dolphins are not resting on their laurels of third after missing out on the semi-finals last season.
The club is confident Griffin will re-sign for next season, along with virtually all of this season's squad. Missing will be Penrith-bound pair Liam Georgetown and Wayne Bond.
"It's a pity that we won't get to see those pair play for Redcliffe again as they have their best footy in front of them," he said.
Also back will be veteran forward Troy Lindsay, who during the finals again led by example.
"Troy tore his calf muscle at training on the Wednesday before the Burleigh match and needed pain killers in his calf to play," Griffin said.
"The physios said most players would have needed 10 days off, but that is the sort of player he is."
Griffin praised the standard of the Queensland Cup, saying the presence of the three NRL offshoots (Toowoomba, Norths and Young Guns) in the semis was a testament of how seriously they took the format and the improved depth of their squads.
"A number of their players are fulltime and so you have to be continually trying to improve to stay with the standard," he said.
"The good thing for us was that we learned from the tough patches during the year and everyone improved.
"I thought after our loss at home to Burleigh that we hit our straps and our form going into the finals was really good."
ONLY the best footballers seem to bypass the Colts competition and move straight into senior competitions.
Teenage Dolphin Wayne Bond is a case in point.
The inside back, who bears a striking resemblance to former Queensland star Adrian Lam in both looks and playing style, has played very limited time in the under 19 Colts ranks.
The starlet is now firmly entrenched in Redcliffe's Premier League side, playing five-eighth outside captain Shane Perry.
The fixture against the Comets marked his fifth top appearance, one at halfback and the other four at pivot.
"I really love it," he said. "It's great to be playing at this level and the sheer size, strength and speed of the players is something.
"The game kicks up a notch against the top teams and I want to keep playing at this level for the rest of the year right through until the semis.
"The game against Wynnum was something. It was so rough and the hits so huge. Our forwards kept belting their guys in defence and it was a real eye-opener."
The match against Tweed Heads marked his first match at Dolphin Oval and he was counting on a win.
Still eligible to play Colts, Bond has turned out in only two Colts fixtures in his time with the Dolphins.
"I've just turned 19 and played one or two Colts matches last year before playing reserve grade," he said. "Then this year I've been in reserve grade before making the Premier League side."
Redcliffe fans should make the most of this season to watch the 73 kilogram Bond in action.
Last month he signed up with the Penrith Panthers and will spend next season with the Mountain Men at the foot of the Blue Mountains.
His switch came as a surprise to some as he had been linked with the Sydney Roosters since he was 16.
"I've been on a scholarship with the Roosters and would receive gear and attend their training camp each year," he said. "It was a big decision to go to Penrith but I was always going to go to Sydney ... it was just which club."
Perhaps the Panthers see Bond as a possible replacement for livewire Preston Campbell, a player of similar stature and playing ilk.
One aspect of his game they will like is his pinpoint field kicking and stab kicks into the in-goal.
"I usually practise my kicking game before training. I muck around with my mates kicking,'' he said.
Bond naturally has kind words for coach Anthony Griffin.
"He helps me heaps in defence," he said. "He tries to help me read the play in a game.
"During a game, Danny Burke is the player who talks to me a lot and encourages me throughout a game. Most of the guys talk to me during a game a bit, but Burkey really gets in my ear and I like playing with him.''
A former Albany Creek junior, Bond joined the Dolphins when he was 15.
A wood machinist, he is in the second year of his four-year apprenticeship.
"I would like to keep going with the job, depending on what the workload is with football," he said.
The teen has an older brother and two sisters and lives at home at Burpengary.
Football runs in his family as cousin Michael plays with the Toowoomba Clydesdales in the Queensland Cup.
"Michael's dad and my dad are brothers," Bond said.
"He has been playing in the centres but can play all the over the place. He really is a half. He played with the Clydesdales last year but is now a big unit."
THE stars seemed to be in alignment for Nick Emmett to join the Pepsi Dolphins this season.
Even though the talented centre played only 11 matches for Souths- Logan last season because of injuries, he was on the minds of both Redcliffe CEO James Hinchey and incoming coach Anthony Griffin.
"I spent last year with the Magpies in the Queensland Cup and got on well with Griffo," he said. "Before Anthony was appointed this year, James Hinchey had rung me and asked what I was doing for the 2005 season.
"When I found out Anthony had been appointed it made it all the easier to join Redcliffe."
The Dolphins had prior knowledge of Emmett's abilities from his stint with the Redcliffe 2000 Colts side.
''I had signed with Parramatta from the Hervey Bay Seagulls and they wanted me to join a professional club for a year before coming to Sydney," he said.
"I had played under 18s and A grade with Hervey Bay as a centre and wing and met someone from Redcliffe at a school carnival so it all worked out well."
Emmett's three seasons with the Eels were soured by a succession of injuries, especially a lower back complaint which still troubles him.
He said his three seasons at Parramatta were enjoyable with stints in the Jersey Flegg and Premier Leagues.
"It was very hard and very competitive, but definitely a learning experience," the 23-year-old said.
"When I came back to Brisbane I had sort of retired with my back injury but Anthony called and I played some of the season with Souths."
Emmett's luck appears to have changed with his move to Dolphin Oval as he has missed only one fixture with injury.
He has shared duties in the centres with veteran Greg Bourke as the Dolphins have overcome a tentative start to the season to forge their way into the top five.
"This year has been great for me," he said. "I'm getting my form back and things are starting to look good, although I treat my back on a week-to-week basis.
"We're turning things around, especially as Souths only won one game last season.''
Few centres in the Queensland Cup would match Emmett for power with his 100 kilogram frame.
"I started at 107 kilos after I was in a good paddock in the off-season," he said. "There are a lot of good e3cntres in this competition.
"Greg Inglis is all class, but hopefully he is playing NRL when we meet Norths again. Bob Blair was at Souths when I was there and he is tough and really strong.
"He's from Maryborough and is only 20, however I think he will be playing NRL in a few years time.''
Emmett said coach Griffin had changed the Dolphins style of play.
"I believe there is a new professionalism to the club," he said. "Things have changed this season but it takes a while before everyone is on the same page.
"There's no reason why we can't win the grand final this season. If not this season, then in years to come. I can see us going from strength to strength as we start to gel as a team as we play more matches together.''
Living at Chermside, he has been working as a windscreen fitter with Windscreens O'Brien at Geebung this year.
As regards his own future, Emmett trots out the perennial 'I'll take it one year at a time', which with his injury in mind, is on the money.
PHYSIOTHERAPIST Steve Falconer is back with his beloved Dolphins.
Club physiotherapist in the halcyon 1990s through to 1999, Steve gave up looking after the Redcliffe senior grades in 2000.