Brisbane Valley team back for new Ipswich footy season
HAVING the Brisbane Valley Bulls back and Brothers fielding an extra side will ensure a stronger Reserve Grade competition when the 2021 Rugby League Ipswich competition kicks off on April 17.
A seven-team A-Grade series is planned as Goodna and West End club officials work hard to secure enough players for the new season.
Rugby League Ipswich chairman Gary Parker said a final decision would be made on Friday about the Goodna and West End A-Grade teams so a draw can be created.
Both clubs are unlikely to field Reserve Grade teams so they can focus on rebuilding their A-Grade sides.
However, the return of the Brisbane Valley Bulls after more than 20 years is a boost to this year's competition.
Club president Craig Melville said the Esk-based team had 30 country footballers signed and eager to play.
"The community is starting to get behind us again,'' said Melville, who played in the Ipswich competition as a junior.
"We've been trying to get it going for the last two years.
"We got going last year when COVID hit and we've got the boys back here again.''
Melville said half the team was from Toogoolawah and Esk, with recruits from Lowood and Gatton.
"Most of them have been training together since after the new year,'' the club president said.
"We've had a few new boys sign on since we started trials.''
The Bulls have played pre-season games against Swifts and Goodna.
Another former Brisbane Valley player Clinton McLeod is coaching the Bulls Reserve Grade combination.
The club is hoping to field an under-7 team in this year's Ipswich junior competition, looking to add under 8 and under 9 sides in the future.
"We'll work hard this year to keep building the seniors now,'' Melville said.
Joining Brisbane Valley and two Brothers sides in the Reserve Grade competition are Norths, Rosewood, Swifts, Fassifern and Redbank, who withdrew their A-Grade side before Easter.
Four clubs have entered under-19 teams this season - Rosewood, Redbank, Fassifern and Norths.
Parker said clubs with teams in each grade would most likely host a full round of games with matches played on Saturdays and Sundays.
The A-Grade competition is being backed by the ACS Group.