The Spotlight - Central Queensland is leading light in the Maroon state!

Well the Spotlight is back after an absent period last month!  This month will hopefully bring some interesting times ahead, we have Senior and Junior seasons finalising, the Q Cup and NRL seasons moving into the business end and of course hopefully finally an expected decision from the ARLC on expansion (short listing of expansion bids or when/if) later this month.

For those who don’t know, Steve Mascord is a very experienced rugby league and NRL journalist (over 25 years experience) and has a wide range of columns - he is actually the most travelled journo for rugby league having been to locations such as Serbia, Italy, USA and Cook Islands. He recently discussed his reasoning behind why Perth (2014) and Central Queensland (2015) should be admitted to the NRL in a Rugby League Week column pointing out – “CQ turning into a news producing location rather than news-consuming” (city news into our region) and the money being spent to get a team.

I couldn’t agree more! With the bid starting in early 2009, everything possible is being ticked in order to earn our club! Central Queensland has a disadvantage in that the major rugby league media are situated in the Brisbane and Sydney fish-bowls, however overtime the bid has brought more media sources to cover our positives - but have needed to spend money and hire PR people.  He is right, the game needs to act now, not wait even longer (potentially 5 years) and provide vision with expansion! The region has some of the strongest multi-national and national companies wanting to provide BIG BUCKS into a CQ NRL Club, this opportunity needs to be capitalised on to take full advantage.

If Television wants another Queensland team, CQ is the clear choice - other bids are only implementing some very similar plans, programs and partnerships that the CQ NRL Bid completed over a year ago, isn’t this a sign CQ is a lot further progressed??? We have government funding for a stadium and sports academy, a Leagues Club (with 12,000+ members), strong juniors, soon to have 2 strong development squads (some already earmarked as potential stars of the game), nearly 40,000 bid members / 10,000+ Social Networking fans (PROOF we have SUPPORTERS DESIRING A TEAM), school and junior programs ALREADY BEING IMPLEMENTED and assurance of LONG TERM FINANCIAL VIABILITY (sponsorship that some clubs can only dream of).

Mascord also said “While in Australia and the UK we have learnt expansion without grassroots is fraught with danger” - CQ will have the most extensive grassroots program (already evident over the last few years) and also a leading light for direct support.

Every season there could be a CQ club, there is a lost opportunity in providing the many regions in the Central Queensland catchment a 25 strong Development Unit for rugby league juniors, sponsors looking for big exposure, more grassroots support, a greater path for indigenous players, more funding for juniors and a future super club for the 1400km GAP missing a team. This club will be the shining light that will unite and inspire a region. The benefits a CQ NRL club will provide rugby league, the club’s and junior development needs to be taken to mind and not lost!

Central Queensland NRL FOCUS - 2012 Season Stats

Undoubtedly the star CQ junior of the 2012 NRL Season has been Benny Barba with scintillating performances just should have earned an Origin call-up, but should happen next year!

Barba heads the NRL Try Scorers List at 17 tries after 22 rounds, one ahead of Josh Morris and Uate. But add in vital attacking statistics, such as 20 Line breaks (2nd); run metres (13th), 119 tackle busts (1st), 26 offloads (19th) and 18 assists (9th).

Another CQ junior in red hot NRL form has been our own “Coal Train” Dave Taylor who has been almost unstoppable for the Rabbitohs this year with 9 NRL tries (could lead tries for forwards - top 22 in NRL), 14 Line Breaks (13 in NRL, leading forward), 257 runs (17 NRL), 2391 Run Metres (17 NRL) and 26 Offloads (18th) - finally realising his fuller potential, but now to convert this into representative form!

CQ Great Retires
Gladstone (Wallaby’s) junior Tony Martin called time on a 17 season career (almost 34 years old) on Wednesday over in England and Europe in the Super league after a massive 326+ professional games (nearly 100 Career tries and over 1000 Points) beginning with the London Broncos in 96, going to Storm in 98-00 winning an NRL title, back to London, than a stint with the Warriors until 2008 when moving to Wakefield Trinity, Celtic Crusaders and finally injury forced retirement this season with Hull FC. HULL FC (www.hullfc.com) Quote “Martin is expected to return to Australia at the end of the season to pursue a number of new career opportunities, although he hasn’t ruled out a return to rugby league and sport, with a keen interest in helping nurture and guide some of the young sports stars of the future.”

TWEET of the WEEK

@cqnrlbid Mining is a major industry within the CQ area, with the coal mines in the Bowen Basin producing $55m to $70m of coal a day. #CQ4NRL

LOCAL LEAGUE ACTION

Rockhampton Senior Grand Final: Fitzroy-Gracemere Sharks will be looking to break their long standing 25 year premiership-less hoodoo in the A-Grade competition having won the minor premiership booking an automatic place in the Grand Final this year, they will be hard to stop. Rockhampton Brothers, on the hand with a young squad have battled all year to earn second place. They earned a place after their controversial clash against North’s Chargers in last weekend’s Preliminary Final, after leading 42 to 20 in the second half, North’s showed their true comeback qualities with three tries in quick succession from 15 minutes to go, down 42 to 36 they crossed with 1 minute on the clock - only for the try to be disallowed. Sharks and Chargers are two the most supported clubs in Rockhampton.
Reserve Grade kickoff at 1.30pm Saturday at Browne Park between Sharks and Brothers, while North’s play Brothers in the U20 Final with Cameron Munster (played a few Q Cup games in 2012) will lead the Chargers crusade.

Gladstone: North’s (Chargers) face a strong Gladstone Raidettes side who earned the right to hold the first Capricorn Region Women’s Grand Final this Sunday at 3pm (Marley Brown Oval) after winning the minor premiership. The Chargers upset the Gladstone side last month.

Gladstone Agrade Preliminary Final for Sunday, August 12: Wallaby’s v Biloela. The winner is to play Valleys in August 19 Grand Final.

Central Highlands: Bluff Rabbitohs knocked out the Middlemount Panthers after a 50 to 28 Elimination final win, while Peak Down Pirates won 28 to 22 over Emerald Tigers. This Saturday at Clermont, the Tigers now face the Rabbitohs, Clermont Bears face the Pirates.

Central West: Winton Devils secured the minor premiership for the second season in a row and now face the second placed Ilfracombe Scorpions Saturday at 3.30pm in the major semi final, while Barcaldine Sand Goannas play Longreach Tigers at 6pm in the minor semi final.

 Table Leaders:

Mackay: Souths 26 (3 pt lead)
Bundaberg: Brothers 32 (5 pt lead)
Northern Districts: Miriam Vale 23 (3 pt lead)                                                                                                                                      Central Burnett: Monto 19 (5 pt lead)

JUNIOR FOCUS

Last month confirmed another CQ junior moving to a NRL club next year with Mackay junior Kyle Krisanski-Kennedy signing with the Bulldogs on a three year deal, beginning with their SG Ball (U18) Squad, his manager Gavin Orr said to SMH: “He’s from Mackay, is very talented and plays five-eighth and fullback,” The great [recruitment scout] Noel Cleal identified him in a carnival and he’s got a bit of ability.”

Potential Popular JUNIOR RL PROGRAM:

I’ve been informed there could be a fun and exciting program for your kids in future, please fill out the survey and register your interest at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CX2JSQ7

“A new & exciting sports program providing safe & fun learning experiences through rugby league for children (boys and girls) is coming to Central Queensland in 2013. The Sports Program will involve a number of age-specific programs for 3-5yo, 6-8yo & 9-12yo that will focus on basic skill development & having fun in a unique kid-friendly sporting arena”

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