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The Brisbane Broncos have joined forces with the Redcliffe Rugby League Club to foster the further development of rugby league on the northern Brisbane peninsula.
In an historic agreement signed today, two clubs once seen as fierce rivals have linked together for what they believe will be for the betterment of the game in Queensland. Redcliffe recently severed a similar link with NRL heavyweights, the Sydney Roosters.
Broncos Managing Director Bruno Cullen joined Redcliffe football club James Hinchey in announcing that the two rugby league clubs had entered in to a partnership agreement whereby the Broncos would provide extensive support, in a working relationship, to the Dolphins. The support from the Broncos will not be financial, but totally resource related.
?We believe we can assist the Redcliffe club in many ways and in doing so rugby league ? at all levels ? will benefit from this relationship,? Mr Cullen said.
?In the past three years the Broncos have formed similar partnerships with three other clubs in Brisbane and not only have the relationships flourished, but rugby league has benefited greatly with junior numbers in Brisbane at record levels. To have a very strong and influential club like Redcliffe joining forces with us, is a major bonus for both clubs.?
However Mr Cullen stressed that the affiliation would not affect the status of either club in the Queensland Cup or other affiliated senior competitions.
?This relationship is not about changing the status of either club insofar as competitive rugby league is concerned,? he said.
?Despite speculation in some quarters, the Broncos will continue to play in the Queensland Cup under the banner of the Toowoomba Clydesdales, and Redcliffe will obviously remain as the Dolphins. And we will still be the fierce rivals we have always been.
?But there will be opportunities for Redcliffe players to be dual registered with the Broncos, opening a genuine opportunity for them to play NRL if the situation presents itself ? as has been the case with Darren Smith for the past two seasons.?
Redcliffe president Des Webb described the coming together as a positive step for both clubs and for rugby league in Queensland in general.
?The development of our juniors, which includes all our affiliated junior clubs, is an obvious benefit that I am confident will bear fruit for both Redcliffe and the Broncos,? he said.
?The other major benefit is the opportunity presented to our senior players to compete in the NRL for a club like the Broncos, under the guidance of a coach such as Wayne Bennett. That is something I am sure will give us an edge with our Queensland Cup aspirations.
?I can also assure our supporters we will remain as the Dolphins and will operate as we have always done, but now we will have the added advantages of the Broncos being involved in the development of players within our club structure. As well, the Broncos will be a great sounding board for all aspects of the football club operations, while at the same time offering a genuine pathway to the NRL for all Dolphin players - whether they are seven or 27 - and a pathway that keeps them within Redcliffe, Brisbane and Queensland.?
The major areas where the two clubs will work closely together to strengthen rugby league in the Redcliffe area are:
? The education of players, coaches and parents, using the extensive resources of the Broncos
? Elite coaching camps for juniors (14-15 years) and seniors (17-18 years)
? Further advance the existing Development Squad program for boys from 13 to 18 years, using the specialist staff at the Broncos
? Coaching and Development staff from both clubs to work together to conduct coaching clinics and educational programs at primary and secondary schools in the Redcliffe area
The agreement will initially be in place until October, 2008