Nimbin comeback; Tweed on hold
By DARREN MONCRIEFF
THE door remains open for a Tweed team to enter the Summerland Australian Football League (SAFL), despite Murwillumbah Hawks' axing from the 2007 season.
The Hawks' exit, confirmed this week by the SAFL, did not come totally unexpected.
The club had a disastrous 2006 season where it forfeited almost half its games due to lack of players. When they did play, the Hawks copped some heavy losses, such was their lack of quality player depth.
But news of the Hawks' demise has been countered by the re-admission to the SAFL of the Nimbin Demons, who spent last season on the sidelines getting their house in order.
And, in a bitter-sweet twist, Murwillumbah's exit is likely to shore up numbers for the Demons, who met with a number of former Hawks players at Murwillumbah last weekend.
SAFL secretary-treasurer George Pike said he believed there was definitely scope for a future SAFL team from the Murwillumbah, Pottsville and Tweed area.
"We're an amateur league and so we are behind the eight-ball in regards to the (Gold Coast/Tweed-based) AFL Queensland Division 2 competition, but that is still the way we hope to go," Pike said.
"Maybe the next step is to get the Hawks back after a year out."
Pike said the league was delighted with Nimbin's return.
"It's excellent news," he said.
"They have sponsors on board and have a small but active committee and town support. Things are looking good for the Demons."
That local support for Nimbin's return to the SAFL was the key ingredient that prompted club officials to get their team back out on the park.
Club president Mick Martin said he'd be often asked about the Demons' return to local footy.
"We were getting asked by many people in the community, so we basically canvassed that support to get a team back in or not," Martin said.
"We're pretty excited about it. We have a hot little committee this year and Tony Burton's on board as well (as club secretary-treasurer)."
Martin said he was confident of having adequate numbers for the season ahead, with 18 at training last week.
"Hopefully we'll secure four or five Hawks players as well," he said.