Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
3 days ago
This article is courtesy of the Redcliffe and Bayside Herald and is written by Paul Lancaster.
In a historic move, the Redcliffe Dolphins will be a feeder club for the Brisbane Broncos next year, after severing their ties with the Sydney City Roosters.
The Dolphins have enjoyed eight years of a successful partnership with the Roosters, where former player and league great Arthur Beetson has often acted as a player scout.
But with that current association winding up at the end of the year, Dolphins football manager James Hinchey said it was time for a fresh change, with an announcement due tomorrow.
"It makes a lot of good sense to have the links with with the Broncos, as it will keep the players in our club and in Queensland if they get a chance at NRL level," Mr Hinchey said.
"It's a way of strengthening the pathways for our junior levels, which are already very strong. It's a good deal for us and them."
He said the finer points of the deal, believed to be over a number of years, would be ironed out with the Broncos heirarchy this week.
"We had some good years with the Roosters but good things come to an end sometime. There were no hard feelings (with the Roosters), but our deal with them was just year to year."
At 23, Dolphins Queensland Cup lock Daniel Green was one of the many young local stars keen to mark the alliance as a winner. "This is a great move. With the Roosters being so far away it was hard to get noticed if you are playing well," Green said.
"I'm very excited about it and I'll be challenging myself next year to get to play at NRL level and maybe get a chance to train with Wayne Bennett.
Queensland stalwart Beetson said he was dissapointed at the result.
"It has been a good pathway for our kids, but the board felt like they were not getting much out of it." Beetson said.
"If it was up to me I wouldn't have changed things, but it's not my decision. It's unfortunate.
He said the Roosters would still consider sending younger players to the Dolphinsas an alternative to playing in Sydney.
Mr Hinchey said the arrangement would also benefit the Broncos as they joined forces wit the biggest non-NRL club.
A Broncos spokesman said the club would make no comment until the official announcement, but it's development officer Ben Ikin has previously said the arrangement would be good for both clubs.
The Dolphins have produced a stellar array of NRL players who have donned the Broncos jersey, including Petero Civoniceva, Dane Carlaw, Brent Tate and Craig Frawley.
Other Redcliffe juniors Michael Crocker, Sam Obst, Clinton O'Brien, Adam Starr and Mark Protheroe together with Trent Clayton and David Shillington went to the Roosters over a number of years.
It is believed that the Broncos' arrangement with the Toowoomba Clydesdales will not be affected by the new alliance.