Develop, Compete, Succeed

One of the criticisms that is being promoted by opponents of NRL expansion is that any new team entering the NRL will pillage the existing teams for playing and coaching talent leaving these current NRL Clubs weakened and non-competitive. I can understand the fear and trepidation that this can generate but this poaching of talent from existing clubs will not apply to all expansion clubs. It certainly will happen if the team entering the NRL does not have a strong Rugby League nursery to draw from or if the expanding club does not trust or want its local players to represent them, or if the expanding NRL Club does not have the desire to DEVELOP its local players into genuine and competitive first graders.

I do not mean sacrificing competitiveness for local participation. These two operatives are not mutually exclusive even though some existing NRL Clubs have a dislike for developing their own and find it easier or at least more expedient to continually raid the clubs that do develop.

On a recent visit to the NRL, we were advised that the grass-roots promotion, servicing and development of Rugby League in the region of interest are very high on the list of “must haves” for any of the bidders. This advice is a rewarding confirmation to the CQ NRL Bid, as we always considered development and promotion of Rugby League at the grass-roots to be critical to the sustainability of the CQ NRL Club.

The CQ NRL Bid is producing a detailed and comprehensive plan that will promote and develop all aspects of the game here in the vastness of Central Queensland. This massive development exercise will not only reinforce Rugby League as the premier sport in Central Queensland, it will produce the majority of players, coaches and staff for our Rugby League teams.

Placing development at the core of our business the CQ NRL Club will work closely with the QRL and the NRL to strengthen the game by providing unprecedented training and opportunities to all participants in the game, delivering clear career and development pathways for every role in Rugby League – from first aid officers to strappers, coaches, club Committee members, canteen workers, referees, linesman and more and, of course, players. The CQ NRL Club will provide the most sophisticated, innovative and holistic approach to development that Rugby League or any other sport in Australia has ever experienced.

This is our plan and we are committed to it. We have publically declared that the CQ NRL Club will be a Rugby League Club in CQ for Central Queenslanders. We have committed to our teams comprising at least 75% local players, coaches and staff so development of our great game at the grass-roots is not an option; it is a MUST if this objective is to be achieved.

An extract from the CQ NRL Business Plan:

“CQ NRL represent a fundamental transformation of Rugby League development in terms of talent identification, community engagement and game development.”  Denis Keeffe, CEO

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