Sport

Newly appointed boss has plan for Goodna's success

ACTIVE APPROACH: Goodna Rugby League Club president Tony Eilola ponders an exciting future.
ACTIVE APPROACH: Goodna Rugby League Club president Tony Eilola ponders an exciting future. Claudia Baxter

NEW Goodna Rugby League Club president Tony Eilola is a man with a plan.

Eilola has outlined his commitment to ensuring juniors make the transition to senior football to secure the club's future.

The club celebrated its centenary this year and Eilola wants to keep the club strong as it heads into its second century.

"One of my main goals this year will be to focus on the conversion of juniors to senior football," he said. "I want to see under 16s transition to under 18s, which in the whole region is a bit of a low point.

"We need to be more active with those kids and encourage them to come along the following year and move up and play senior football."

Eilola said the initiative starts with the committee and includes the coaching group and senior players.

"Alistair Tauaa is a good example of that,'' the president said.

"He coached one of the junior sides last season and will be doing the same next year.

"Some of the A-grade players are getting down to junior training. They are role models in the club and can encourage the young ones to come through.

"I want to see a kid who joins the club at under sixes be able to get to whatever level he wants to - whether that be A grade at Goodna or on to the Jets and the NRL.

"Now with the relationship the IRL has with the Broncos it gives us that link at a local level. We don't have to send kids to Sydney.

"We can keep them at home."

Eilola has been in sports administration for more than 10 years.

He has been with the Goodna club for three years, as a first-aid officer and club secretary.

Prior to that he was at the Springfield Panthers for nine years. He was secretary for most of those seasons and club president when the Panthers senior side won the C-grade title.

The Eagles made the semi-finals this year, losing the minor semi-final against Norths.

Eilola is keen to see the club do at least as well in 2013 and hopefully go "one or two spots better."

The Reserve grade side had a stellar season, winning the premiership.

"Stability on the playing and coaching front is a positive for the season ahead,'' he said.

"We are still searching for players but the leadership group we've had the last few years have all re-signed. Our leadership group is headed by Fa Tauaa and his brother Alistair. The players are inspired by them and follow their lead.

"Shaun O'Loan is our A-grade coach again and we've got the same Reserve grade coach in Laurie Campbell."

New under-18 coach is Anthony Murray who has come from Springfield.

The club aims to also enter a C-grade side next year.

Eilola said the club was back on track after being hit hard during the 2011 floods.



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