ON a very clear day, you could see that rugby league supporters were out in their numbers, wanting to register to play for the Redcliffe Dolphins in 2005.
Existing player numbers have been maintained, and with the crop of new starters, it will be another very busy time around the Dolphin Oval complex.
Wading through the paperwork required to enrol all of our budding league champs is no small task, so on that note the Dolphins wish to thank the dedicated group of people who sharpened their pencils and fought off writer's cramp as they registered somewhere over 600 footballers for this season.
A new major sponsor also has signed on for the Dolphins juniors and we welcomed Keystar Autoworld to the club's first big day of the season.
Our new sponsor came bearing gifts for the occasion and every player signing on was provided with a sample bag of goodies and introductory special promotions for the parents and supporters.
There was a healthy group of Keystar employees in attendance, led by popular Dolphins league identity Peter "Robbo" Robinson, sales manager of the Redcliffe/Rothwell dealership.
The Dolphin juniors look forward to a mutually rewarding association with Keystar Autoworld and their product line-up of Subaru, Hyundai, Kia and Daihatsu will be prominently displayed on our Redcliffe team jerseys.
The Dolphins are also fortunate to have the services of our new sponsor's special liaison Contact in Brian Winney, who will be able to assist all supporters in their inquiries on purchase of new or used motor vehicles on 0402 410844, 3203 7333 or email [email protected]
In this world of ever increasing cooperation of business entities, Redcliffe Leagues Club's long-standing banker, (which bank?), the Commonwealth Bank, has introduced a housing property and refinancing loan scheme.
This is not only a saving for the borrowing customer but will also return a reward bonus to the club and individual teams which refer new business to the Redcliffe and Kippa-Ring branches.
Contacts at these local Commonwealth Bank branches are Danny Hayes 3284 6444 and Nicola Torrisi 3284 1066.
The Commonwealth Bank is openly promoting its desire to be the most user friendly of the banking institutions and the current campaign can only be a benefit for club members and junior supporters in our efforts to maintain lowest costs of participation in junior sport.
Thanks also go to Leading Edge Sports for its presence on Dolphins sign-on day and the manner in which they attended to the many sporting goods needs of the Dolphin juniors.
Peter Clarke, of Leading Edge Sports at Clontarf Beach, has been a renowned supporter of sport on the Peninsula and his connection and commitment to the Redcliffe Rugby League Club is appreciated by our juniors.
Completing the show stall style presentation for our Dolphin junior supporters was the non-stop visiting spot for the players as they queued up to the Redcliffe Old Boys Club sausage sanger sizzle, which was an eat-out after Ron Pascoe and his rustys served up over 800 barbecued sausages.
To borrow from a great football quote, "cooked hard, done good!" (sorry Jack!)
Training has got under way for all sides and the schedule up until the juniors' first trial on the weekend of March 6 is:
Under 7s Saturdays 9am on Junior 1
Under 8s Saturdays 9am on Junior 2
Under 9s Saturdays 10am on Junior 2
Under 10s Saturdays 10am on Junior 1
Under 11s Mondays and Wednesdays 5pm Mod 2
Under 12s Mondays and Wednesdays 5pm Mod 1
Under 13s Mondays and Wednesdays 5pm Talobilla 3
Under 14s Tuesdays and Thursdays 6pm Talobilla 3
Under 15s Tuesdays and Thursdays 6pm Talobilla 4
Under 16s Mondays and Wednesdays 6pm Talobilla 3
Under 17s Mondays and Wednesdays 6pm Talobilla 4
Under 18s Tuesdays and Thursdays 6pm Junior 2
This program of training is necessary for important reasons:
1. Families from all player age groups know 'who' is 'where' and 'when'.
2. Any late sign-ons or those absent on sign-on day can follow the program.
3. This year, Talobilla fields 1 and 2 have undergone major groundworks of levelling and resurfacing and to allow proper regeneration are unavailable for use until mid-March.
4. The timetable can be adjusted once finalisation of teams and grades are completed, expected by the start of competition on March 18-20.
5. Cooperation from all concerned is naturally appreciated.
Coaches appointed to modified games teams are: under 7s, Jamie McDonald, Matt Buxton, Mark Payne and Bruce Castle, (another coach needed); under 8s, David McDonald, Brian Foley, Andrew Cullis, (another coach needed); under 9s, Darren Van Bruggen, Pat Murphy, Greg Gray, Aaron Lambourn; under 10s, Cam Cherry, John Boxsell, John Murrell, Glen Wilson; under 11s, Jason Warr, Mark Stringer, Adrian Beaven, (another coach needed); under 12s, Steve Peoples, Brett Morris, Mark Charlton, (another coach needed).
Any person interested in beginning the role of coach with one of the needed abovementioned teams should contact Grant Cleal on 3203 7333 to arrange further discussion.
Big year coming up - go the Dolphins!
THEY might up being called Redcliffe's own version of "The Three Musketeers".
Ryan Cullen, Shannon Fish and Gerard Parle joined the Dolphins in the off-season from fellow Queensland Cup club Central Comets.
THE Dolphins will start their 2005 Queensland Cup campaign without top-line forwards Daniel Green, Troy Lindsay and Grant Flugge.
Lindsay (one week) and Flugge (two weeks) were hit with suspensions from the final fixture of 2204 while Green is recuperating from an off-season shoulder operation.
But Dolphins coach Anthony Griffin has been buoyed by his side's strong pre-season trial form, beating premiers Burleigh 36-16 on the Gold Coast and then disposing of Souths-Logan 34-22 at Dolphin Oval.
"We won comfortably against Souths and I was pretty happy with their performance," Griffin said.
"We are building up a bit of momentum, although there are still a few areas we need to work on defensively."
Redcliffe led Souths 16-0 early, before the Magpies came back to 16-10, however the home side stormed away to 28-12 before defensive slips balanced the final scoreline.
Griffin said front-rowers Adam Starr and Nick Walker were impressive, along with halves Michael Roberts and Shane Perry and utility forward Shannon Fish.
"Daniel Jones injured his ankle in the Souths trial, which was our most serious injury," he said. "He was taken off and did not come back.
"Daniel Green might be ready at he start of the season but he could have a game or two in the reserves."
DALE Shearer was as well known for his number of clubs as his playing ability.
New Redcliffe signing Greg Bourke has been just as well travelled as the former Kangaroo back.
Bourke's playing resume makes interesting reading.
A Ballina product from the New South Wales North Coast,he turned out with National Rugby League
clubs Wests Tigers, Sydney City and North Queensland before moving on to Queensland Cup outfits Burleigh Bears and Wynnum, spending two seasons each with those clubs.
He started his top grade career with the Tigers before being recruited by to the Roosters and then spending two seasons with the Cowboys.
"The Roosters were the most professional of the clubs I had been with," he said. "But then I enjoyed playing at all the clubs I have been with.
"The Roosters' cause was helped by the quality of the players they had. ?
Bourke's experience will come in handy this season for the Dolphins with the loss of top centres Brian Jellick(France)and Damian Richters (retirement).
He has been called upon to fill the void and help Redcliffe back into the Queensland Cup semi-finals.
``I've been at pre-season training since it started on November 1 and I've really enjoyed it,'' Bourke said.
A centre for his entire career, Bourke has signed a two-year contract with the Fins.
``I'll play these two seasons and see how I go,'' he said. "I always thought Redcliffe were a really good team and they were always a hard team to play against when I was with the Bears and Seagulls.
"Last year was not as good as others for the club, but their future looks really appealing. I'm hoping to go one step better and win a premiership this season.
That is everyone's aim in their career."
Bourke has been close to taking a title with his two previous outfits,although the Bears won last year's title after he had left the previous
season for Wynnum, who made the finals in 2004, eventually finishing third.
Bourke and his wife Sharon, who have a son and a daughter, both work for Conrad Jupiters on the Gold Coast.He is on the security side of the operation while his wife is a dealer.
``They have been really good employers for me in allowing me time to play football," he said.
"We live at Eagleby, which is halfway between our work at Conrad Jupiters and Brisbane,'' he said. "It works out well as it's only 40 minutes either way to work or training."
Bourke's analysis of the Queensland Cup is interesting. He believes the standard is improving every season,although naturally not to the standard of the NRL where fulltime training and resources allows players to develop to their maximum potential.
'You only have to see how many players the NRL gets from this competition to realise it is at a high level," he said. "It is a good playing standard, much better than any of the country leagues and one of the better leagues in the world. Playing with Redcliffe will be a new challenge."
ANTHONY Griffin returns to Dolphin Oval older and wiser after five years developing his coaching skills in the National Rugby League hothouse.
A former junior development officer with the Dolphins, Griffin coached the Redcliffe Colts in 1997 before leaving to join the Melbourne Storm umbrella.
With the departure of triple premiership coach Neil Wharton in the off-season, Griffin threw his hat in the ring for the top job at Redcliffe.
"When I heard Neil had resigned, I got in contact with the club and it went from there," Griffin said.
"I knew other guys were putting in for the job, but I fronted for the interview and it went from there.
"It was good to get the job as it's just like coming home. It is that really because Dolphin Oval is where my senior coaching career started. It's great to be back."
In the 2005 Queensland Cup season, Griffin faces the tough task of blending new faces with the core of past campaigners.
Gone are Brian Jellick, Andrew Wynyard, Ben Jones, Trent Leis and Gavin Cooper while the recruiting net has been far and wide to join up and coming youngsters from Colts and A grade.
Griffin also has brought three players from Souths Logan, his previous assignment, in hooker Daniel Irvine, centre Nick Emmett and rookie prop Matt Morice.
Irvine turned out in 30 NRL matches for Parramatta while Emmett, a former Dolphins Colt, also played for the Sydney club.
Griffin said Redcliffe football manager James Hinchey had looked after most of the club's recruiting with the end of the 2004 season.
"We started back training on November 1 and we're looking good," Griffin said. "We are still looking for some outside backs. We have some quality in that spot but not the depth."
Griffin joined the Storm in 1998 with three years at its Brisbane offshoot Norths before going to Melbourne in 2001 as head coach Chris Anderson's assistant.
Anderson left the Storm halfway through the season to be replaced by former Dolphins and Sydney City coach Mark Murray.
Griffin finished his commitments down south at the end of 2002 before joining Souths Logan.
He said many faces were familiar at Dolphin Oval with Hinchey a player during previous stint at the club while Michael Roberts, Grant Flugge and Nathan Herbener members of his Colts squad.
Herbener returned to his hometown of Roma after receiving two sternum fractures at Redcliffe, but has made the most of his time away with selection in the Queensland Rangers side over the past two seasons.
Griffin now runs his own insurance and financial planning business, which although keeping him busy, allows him time for his football commitments.
A resident at The Gap, he also has a family now with two daughters and a son.
"We will be training three days a week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday - as well as the players being required to do a weights session on Thursdays," he said.
Griffin believes the Queensland Cup has become stronger over recent seasons.
"The competition has gone ahead in leaps and bounds over the past four to five years," he said.
"I think it's because of the professionalism of the clubs and the quality of their players, as well as players who have come back from the NRL.
"The NSW Premier League might be quicker and the skills better, but it is not played in the same spirit as the intensity is not as high."
THE Dolphins' A grade brave bid to keep the flag flying bit the dust at the last hurdle.
DEPARTING Dolphins coach Neil Wharton has spoken of his emotions at the end of a six-year reign.
THE most prestigious occasion on the Dolphins calendar is being held soon.
THE Pepsi Dolphins have a history of producing top-notch players for NRL ranks.
Every year at least one Redcliffe junior or Colt forces his way into the top-level ranks.
Don't be surprised if Liam Georgetown joins that list in the next couple of seasons.
The 18-year-old already has turned out in two Queensland Cup fixtures for the Dolphins after playing a significant role in last season's Colts premiership.
And the flash has former Test prop Glenn Lazarus as his manager after a family connection tied the pair last year.
"A mate of my father's persuaded Glenn to come along to a couple of games last season and he is now my manager," he said.
"He has faith in me and I believe I can make a career out of playing rugby league," he said.
Georgetown's talent also has been recognised by representative selectors as he was picked for the Queensland Rangers side to take on New South Wales Country in late June at Murwillumbah.
"That was a big thrill," he said. "I played on the right wing and had a full match and got a try. It couldn't have been better."
He was selected for Brisbane South East to contest a carnival in Mackay from where the Rangers side was selected.
"Marshall Colwell was coach for the Rangers and we beat NSW Country 50-22 in front of a good turnout," Georgetown said.
"It was the first time I had made a rep team and it was close to playing to a grand final. I always get these nerves playing big matches."
He did not let nerves affect him in the 2003 grand final, scoring a try against Burleigh Heads.
This season shapes as just as successful. A few kilograms heavier at 76kg, the wingman has worked hard on his fitness and, as he says, "I'm starting to reap the rewards".
After turning out in a pre-season trial against Toowoomba, Georgetown took on Central Comets and Burleigh Bears in the top grade, nailing a try against the Comets.
"Premier League is heaps faster and I try to do what I normally do in a match," he said. "My second game was one of the best games I've played as I got more involved."
Originally from Cherbourg, Liam's family moved to Brisbane when he was six and he spent four years with the Brighton Roosters.
"Everyone else seems to hate Redcliffe, but once you play for them it's a different story again," he said. "The club itself is brilliant and you can see why they are so successful."
Still eligible for Colts, Georgetown is noted for his flashy wing play, capable of scoring a try with his acceleration and uncanny reading of play.
He scored two tries in last year's season decider at Dolphin Oval, including an 80m intercept.
"I had not played on the wing before until last season when Crusher asked me to play there," he said. "I had played in the centres all the time.
"But I like playing on the wing now, especially after scoring 18 tries last year. Last year I was on the left wing, this year it's the right."
His pace is an obvious asset, however he is coy as to whether he's the fastest player at the club.
"We had a race in the pre-season and I came third behind Joel Barnes and Maddison Murphy," he said. "I had a good off-season and played touch to help keep me fit."
Now in his third season at Dolphin Oval, Georgetown joined from Brighton and played with Redcliffe's under 17 before receiving a call to sign up with the Colts last season.
His goal now is to cement a spot in the club's Queensland Cup ranks.
Sport dominates Georgetown's life as he is in the middle of a 12-month diploma in sports management at Brackenridge TAFE.
"Eventually I want to have a management role in sport," he said. "I have been into sport all my life and want to stay in it."
ONE of the Redcliffe Dolphins' most promising players has joined the North Queensland Cowboys.
Boom second-rower Gavin Cooper will play the 2005 season with the NRL emerging force.
He will be joined by talented Redcliffe teenage centre Charles Vis, who already has turned out for the Dolphins in the Queensland Cup.
Cooper said the Cowboys, who had signed him for its 25-strong NRL roster, wanted him to start training in mid-October in Townsville.
"I signed with the Cowboys in late July when I was out with illness," he said. "I got glandular fever soon after the state under 19 match and missed six weeks of football."
The lanky backrower, who lost 13 kilograms from his 102 kilogram frame, has only just put the weight back on in recent weeks.
"I've been told I will be slotted into the second-row with the Cowboys depending how fit into the system of things there," said Cooper, who turned 19 on August 19.
"It would be great to get an early look in NRL calculations. Of course I know Shane Tronc up there, who is killing them, and a couple of the Queensland under 19s."
Cooper's brother Dustin also played for the Dolphins before joining the Melbourne Storm two seasons ago.