RLI to back the Bears
Rugby League Ipswich chairman Gary Parker agreed with Redbank Plains Bears founder Ken Salter that the club was crucial to the game in the region due to its location in a population growth area.
Like Salter and all those behind the scenes at Redbank Plains, the chairman was disappointed to see the Bears drop out and he wants to see them back in A-Grade.
Parker said Redbank Plains currently had two senior teams, including a quality 19s age group which should bode well for the club in future and he had already suggested to officials that they begin recruiting their squad for next season now.
“You need to plan these things,” he said.
“You can bet if these guys aren’t playing this year that all the other clubs are planning their sides already.”
Parker said the departure of much of the strong A-Grade squad which reached the finals last year was the result of a group of predominantly 26-27-year-olds deciding to focus on their personal lives rather than football. He said he had not been informed of any cultural problem at Redbank Plains but RLI would help any club to improve that all-important facet of their organisation.
“The whole thing with A-Grade is getting a team captain and that captain becomes like a spokesperson or a person for the players and a team leader,” he said.
“Swifts were going to have Jake O’Doherty this year – good idea. Going back a few years ago when Goodna were making grand finals but not winning, we had a team leader make sure that blokes were doing the right thing. That’s how you develop a culture and keep it line – nominate a leader that is respected by the community.”
In response to calls for RLI to find a club to replace Redbank Plains, Parker said the QRL was currently reviewing the existing boundaries for the Ipswich, Brisbane and Gold Coast leagues but a result was not expected for sometime.
“It’s not easy because you’ve got boundaries which have been there for years but it is under review at the moment,” he said.
“I don’t expect a result for a while but what Jason suggested is definitely being looked at.”
He said it would be ideal to shore up the Bears and find an eighth team to avoid a bye, with Rosewood and Lowood being looked at as potential A-Grade clubs in future.