Redbank Plains and Norths are among the clubs supporting an Ipswich junior competition starting next month. Picture: Franca Tigani
Redbank Plains and Norths are among the clubs supporting an Ipswich junior competition starting next month. Picture: Franca Tigani

Promising development for return of junior footy

THE return of junior rugby league in the Ipswich region is looking promising with five clubs on board and a new transfer arrangement to bolster participation.

Rugby League Ipswich chairman Gary Parker was buoyed by the latest junior competition discussions after last week's decision to offer play this season following a funding injection.

Although negotiations are continuing on the return of an Ipswich senior competition, Parker said everything looked positive for a junior kickoff in early August.

"The numbers are holding up pretty good,'' he said after the Norths, Goodna, West End, Swifts and Redbank Plains clubs committed teams for a 10-week season.

"In the juniors, they definitely are.

"It will probably be a normal season minus a couple.''

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A key development is Rugby League Ipswich allowing teams from other clubs to play under a transfer opportunity available this season.

"We've allowed clubs like Brothers or Fassifern who are not playing, they can transfer virtually whole teams over to like a West End or Swifts or whatever,'' Parker said.

"It's only a transfer until the 31st October and then they revert back to where they were.''

Parker said clubs could host games under COVID-19 safe plans with parents allowed to bring their children in for the game and leave when matches were finished.

Parents and footy fans could soon have some junior teams to cheer on in Ipswich. Picture: Franca Tigani
Parents and footy fans could soon have some junior teams to cheer on in Ipswich. Picture: Franca Tigani

After earlier plans to postpone 2020 junior competition, an easing of restrictions and funding from the Queensland Rugby League created a new opportunity to provide play for kids.

The Goodna Eagles, Norths Tigers, Redbank Plains Bears, Swifts Bluebirds and West End Bulldogs will maintain traditions of past seasons in a shortened 2020 series.

With Swifts withdrawing from hopes of reviving a senior competition, Parker said that remained a work in progress.

Only three senior clubs have committed - Norths, Goodna and West End.



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