Hornets stung by treatment
By BOB ANTHONY
"WE feel like we are the forgotten men in all this."
That's Cudgen Hornets players' representative Corey Williams' assessment of the on-going dispute over where the rugby league club will play this season.
Williams, a member of the 2006 premiership-winning side, said the collective feeling among the Hornets players was that they were tired of the politics and simply wanted to get on the field and play football.
"We just want to focus on our footy and we are all getting pretty sick of the rumours flying around the place," Williams said.
"Some of the rumours going about are just outrageous and to be honest, they are very distracting.
"The longer this drags on, the more it is taking a mental toll on the players who feel like their opinions don't seem to count."
Williams, originally from Casino, played in the former Group One competition before joining the Hornets and sharing in the club's triumph last year when they defeated the Murwillumbah Mustangs to claim the Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League title.
He said players had discussed the possibility of playing in the Gold Coast competition during the 2006 NRRRL competition.
Despite feeling they were underdogs throughout that season, the players managed to maintain plenty of unity to come through and win the grand final. It is that same spirit which is keeping them together now.
"As players, we have discussed the pros and cons of both competitions and were united on the decision to play in the Gold Coast league," Williams said.
He said he had addressed the board of the Cudgen Leagues Club, but "I got the impression they had made their minds up beforehand".
"There have been rumours flying around that we are simply saying what our coach and management wanted us to say, but that isn't the case.
"We have many players who live on the Gold Coast and the reason why many of us signed on again was the prospect of playing in that competition.
"From the players' perspective, there's a far greater connection to the Gold Coast ... and the travel issue has a large part to play."
"I can't understand the NRRRL or Country Rugby League's position. The League would survive without us because they did before the former Gold Coast-Group 18 clubs joined Group One.
"Our choice has been to play in the Queensland comp for quite some time now, but none of us realised just what sort of drama it would cause."
Williams said there had been much said about the standard of the Gold Coast league, but he felt that it was a competition which was growing in strength, particularly being at the Gold Coast Titans' back door.
"None of the players want to see the Cudgen Hornets hurt. We are all very proud of the club and what we have been able to achieve," Williams said.
"All we want to do is play rugby league where we want to play rugby league."
The Australian Rugby League board will discuss the matter tomorrow.