Our thanks to Andrew Ferguson for his 2014 piece recounting the story of Edward Larkin, who among ot...
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The Wynnum Seagulls RLFC has today announced a three-year partnership arrangement with the Brisbane Broncos that will enable Wynnum Seagulls players to stay in the bayside district and still have viable opportunities in the NRL.
The partnership arrangement has been formalised over the past few months following the decision of the Wynnum Seagulls RLFC to sever ties with the Manly Sea Eagles. The club then went in search of an affiliation that would best complement the Seagulls development program, which is supported by the Wynnum Seagulls RLFC and the Wynnum Manly Leagues Club.
Wynnum Seagulls RLFC Chief Executive Mark Rockley said much time and energy had been expended creating a long-term development structure that would help produce future Seagulls players.
"The final part of this structure was to secure an effective NRL partner that would best support our program," he said. "The partnership with the Broncos will provide a clear pathway for our juniors, as well as present the senior club with dual-registration opportunities for Seagulls players. There is also a wonderful opportunity for coaching development, at both senior and junior level. "And we believe the longevity of the association - a three-year term - also confirms the commitment of both parties."
Mr Rockley said the relationship was viewed by both clubs as a win-win situation.
"In return for what the Broncos can offer us, the Seagulls present the Broncos with one of the best junior rugby league strongholds in Brisbane," he said. "We boast an area that has a wealth of untapped talent and a professional development structure that is sure to provide Broncos players of the future. As well, the Seagulls senior club structure is one of the best in the Queensland Cup competition. "With former English Super League coach Shane McNally now at the helm of our Junior Development program there has already been considerable progress at a junior level. Now that the partnership with the Broncos has been formalised, we can finalise the development plan that is sure to increase participation in the sport within the district as well as improve the skill level of players and coaches alike."
Mr Rockey said the future of rugby league in the bayside area of Wynnum was extremely bright, and added that with the support of the company Ikin Store It and the Wynnum Manly Leagues Club, it was a long term future indeed.
Broncos managing director Bruno Cullen said the club's relationship with the strong Wynnum Seagulls was a tangible sign that the rugby league fraternity in Brisbane was serious about becoming a major strength in the game.
"I am not suggesting there has been any dilution of rugby league, but to remain the strong force Queensland has been in the past we all have to work closely together," he said.
"Developing NRL rugby league players does not happen overnight. It involves a system - a production-like if you like - that starts when a kid first pulls on a pair of footy boots."
"The Broncos are not suggesting we know everything about developing players, but we have had a lot of experience and a lot of success over 18 years. Our agenda is to give every aspiring NRL player the opportunity to achieve their goals, yet not leave Brisbane as a junior if their preference is to stay here."
"The Wynnum Seagulls have a terrific structure in place and with the resources we can offer them, this association can only be a plus for rugby league."
Any question should be directed to...
Mark Rockley Executive Officer Mobile - 0412 885 805 Email - [email protected]