Pair to be re-United
OFFICIALS are close to finalising negotiations which could see local footy stars Roy Bell and Fred Waters return to the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League as early as this weekend.
The 2009 NRRRL premiership runners-up with Northern United signed on to play with Norths Devils in the Queensland Cup for 2010, but are now seeking releases.
Dirawongs and NRRRL bosses are elated to have the popular pair return but Devils appear to be blocking the move.
Devils’ football manager Mark Murray said that Bell and Waters would be released but it was a matter of working out terms.
“We paid some relocation monies in order to get them up here and they have chosen to break that agreement,” Murray said.
“So it is about getting a result that satisfies both parties.”
Murray said that Bell had made the issue tougher to deal with by not being forthcoming about his desire to return home.
“Roy just up and left training and didn’t say anything to anyone,” Murray said.
“The last time I saw him was at a game a couple of weeks ago and that was it – gone. If you don’t come and speak with us and let us know what is going on it’s a bit hard to release a bloke.”
Northern United coach Chris Binge is rubbing his hands together at the thought of two of the competition’s most potent attacking weapons coming home.
“I am more than happy with the roster we have now,” Binge said.
“But if we get these two back it takes us to a whole different level. We will then reassess our views in regards to how our season might pan out.”
One of the most pleasing aspects of the homecoming, Binge explained, would be the condition that his players would return to United in.
“We would be getting them with a full Q-Cup pre-season under their belts,” he said.
“You would imagine they would be in as good a shape as ever.”
And there are plenty of positives off the field as well.
NRRRL secretary Doug Harrison said Bell and Waters would be welcomed back with open arms.
“These are the type of players we love to have in our competition,” Harrison said.
“They bring fans through the gates and will be a massive boost for Northern as a club.”
Bell could not be contacted for comment regarding his departure from Norths.
All parties are confident the matter will be resolved by week’s end.