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June 20, 2024 11:06 PM

Magpies looking for junior leaders

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BY ALEX TIGANI

For the first time in recent memory, the Merriwa Magpies did not take to the field in 2020.

It was the case for many rugby league clubs across the country as social distancing protocols were placed to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.

Eight months on, Magpie players of all ages are ready to make a return to the field.

However, the club desperately needs to fill spots on its junior committee.

“Everything is good, we have the sponsors in place, and we are financially stable,” junior vice president Bernie Constable explained.

“We are just trying to find people on the committee which will be the final piece of the puzzle we need to get the kids back out there.”

The club recently celebrated 50 years of its junior section in 2017 and attracted a total of 94 registered players in 2019.

This season some junior players played for Denman and Scone and a few others made the 75km trip to Muswellbrook.

Constable now hopes to see them all return home in 2021.

But first the junior committee needs to fill the vacant positions of president, secretary, treasurer, registrar and publicity officer following an unsuccessful AGM and EGM in recent weeks.

“At the end of the day, it is all about getting the kids in town back on the field,” he continued.

“I have been involved in with the juniors for five years but only on the committee for a second year and it has been rewarding.

“When you first get to the ground you usually turn up and the kids are everywhere and it is good to watch.

“We know with a committee we’ll have a few coaches to volunteer but we need the committee to come out first.”

Merriwa senior playing coach Nathan Barry also hopes to see the club strengthen its junior section.

“It means everything, my two girls play and I love going around and watching them,” he explained.

“I always say that if you ever lose your passion for playing footy then watching them (juniors) gives the passion straight back to you.

“I lost it before I coached but then both my girls started and my passion came back straight away.

“They also interact with different kids so I like that aspect; it means that they are not just friends with those kids at school.”

The Magpies hope for back to back Bengalla Hunter Valley Group 21 second grade titles following their upset grand final victory against Aberdeen last year.

A group of 16 players recently gathered at the local RSL to watch a replay of that memorable afternoon.

“As soon as we (the senior group) are allowed back on the park, we will be out there,” Barry concluded.

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