Maurie back for his 19th term
By STEVE SPINKS
MAURIE Ryan has been elected unopposed to his 19th term of president of the Far North Coast Rugby Union following a ballot last weekend.
Ryan will head a seven-man board in line with a mandate by the NSW Country Rugby Union.
The mandate has seen the demise of the tedious monthly general meetings involving more than 20 participants.
A streamlined board of seven, including the president, will be the decision-making body of the zone.
"It should clear up a lot of confusion," zone administrator John Drysdale said.
"We are already ahead in planning and we hope to avoid repetitive meetings."
The seven-man board systems have been set up throughout Country NSW.
"Some zones already had it, but now all do," Drysdale said.
"It would seem the responsibility is being concentrated, but actually it has spread power.
"If the clubs are dissatisfied with a board decision, they can still call a general meeting and overrule the board."
Bob Thompson (Yamba), Graham Cook (Lismore), Mick Melino (Lismore), Tony Heeson (Bangalow), Warwick Davidson (Wollongbar) and Ben Fisher (Evans Head) are the other members elected to the board.
All are experienced rugby administrators and each bring a level of interest from different aspects of the game.
The first real test of the board will come when the draw and the make-up of the competition next season is put forward.
There is some debate as to what age group juniors (Under-19s) should be, with some arguing a lowering of the eligibility to Under-18s would be beneficial.