Casino and Districts Junior Rugby League Football Club president Greg Brown, left, with vice-president Mark Leale.
Casino and Districts Junior Rugby League Football Club president Greg Brown, left, with vice-president Mark Leale. Doug Eaton

New club may split Casino juniors

A BID to stop junior rugby league being split in the town that has provided some of the Northern Rivers' best talent appears to have failed.

The new Casino and Districts Junior Rugby League Football Club will press on with plans to nominate teams in Group One Junior competitions next season after a compromise could not be reached at a meeting between interested parties on November 3.

Greg Brown, publican of the Hotel Cecil and president of the new junior club, believes a fresh approach is needed.

"We can't see the RSM Club agreeing to give up ownership of Casino junior rugby league," he said last night, indicating that would be required for any compromise.

"We would want them to walk away from it so it can be run properly.

"The biggest problem this year was that money promised to the juniors didn't happen and only part of it happened last year.

"Kids need to feel like they're part of a club - we need to create that.

"We simply want what's best for the kids."

Brown said training gear was wearing out and there was a lack of support for juniors who wanted to play representative football.

"We know we can do better than that," he said.

"Over the past three years, Casino has lost too many kids to other sports and nothing has been done about it.

"The town had 300 juniors four years ago but now that number is down to 182."

Brown said the Hotel Cecil had never been able to sponsor junior league because its business was in opposition to the RSM Club, stopping additional money flowing into the sport.

"I can't see it getting better, I can only see it getting worse," he said.

Group One Junior Rugby League president Rick Lennon said last night that it would be preferable to have one strong junior club in the town.

"We're still hopeful a compromise can be reached," he said.

"If we can't mediate a resolution and the new club nominates to join the competition, it will be up to delegates from all the clubs to vote on that.

"The new club would have to show that a committee is in place and explain how they were going to operate."

Representatives of the NRRRL and the Country Rugby League also attended the meeting, which was chaired by CRL regional manager Kevin Hill.

The Group One Junior Rugby League annual general meeting is set down for November 28 at the Casino RSM Club.

Brown said the town's school children would be asked to come up with ideas for the new club's logo and name, with entries to close on December 2 if the bid was successful.



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