Raidersfightingback tostrength

Rugby League

THE resurrection of the Tweed Coast Raiders continues with the club set to field reserves and under-18 sides in the new Northern Rivers regional competition next year.

"It's a big achievement because this year was the first year we returned to the competition since the club folded in 1991," club president and coaching coordinator Michael Danes said.

The Raiders were allowed to field an under-18s side this season - the last year of the Group 18 competition before the merger with Group 1.

The club has secured the services of former Cudgen Hornets reserves coach Terry Rapana, who took Cudgen to the last two grand finals.

The new 14-team reserves competition next year, Danes said, would be very competitive and the Raiders would aim to finish in the top half of the draw at season's end.

"It's looking good so far there are about 30 players wanting to sign up for us and some of them are firstgrade-quality players - some from Cudgen, some from South Tweed and a couple out of retirement," Danes said. "A few of those grew up as juniors with the Raiders before the club folded and are coming back to us," he said.

New under-18s coach Michael Jordan, who took a Raiders junior side to several premierships, will be reunited with several of those juniors now playing under18s.

"It's more or less a reunion for many of those players," Danes said.

Next year, the club will hold a reunion of new and former players and celebrate the club's 20-year anniversary of its move from South Murwillumbah to CabaritaBogangar when it became known as the Tweed Coast Raiders.

"We have a few events planned, including a reunion night for the original Raiders first-grade team," Danes said.

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