GCRL fears for Koalas' future
SOUTH Tweed Koalas will struggle to return to senior rugby league in future seasons should it pull out this year, Gold Coast Rugby League operations manager Tom Marzella has warned.
The club has put out a desperate call for players to commit themselves to the club and a meeting last night was the dead-line.
South Tweed has struggled to pull together a single reserve grade side this season, after fielding teams across all three Bycroft Cup divisions in 2010.
South Tweed club president Lloyd Alexander said the senior club would fold if it couldn't find the players for a single team.
Marzella was disappointed at the club's predicament and was “crossing his fingers” yesterday and hoping it could emerge from its latest crisis intact.
“The Gold Coast Rugby League has helped as much as it can over the past three years but for an unknown reason, players have not returned to the club this season,” he said.
Just 10 Koalas players turned up to Sunday's clash with Southport.
They bravely pulled on their jerseys, but the game was abandoned mid-way through the second half.
Marzella said South Tweed was facing a long hiatus should it pull out of the senior competition this year.
“It is sad to say that if the players don't turn out in the club's support, it will be very hard for the club to come back into the senior competition next year,” he said.
“South Tweed has got a long and proud history and it would be a shame to see them drop out entirely.”
Marzella denied Tweed Heads Seagulls' return to Gold Coast football was the catalyst for South Tweed's player drain.
“That has not been an important factor as far as the Gold Coast Rugby League is concerned,” he said.
The league has monitored the movement of players between clubs and hasn't noticed anything irregular.
There are rules to stop more than three players moving from one club to another in one season.
Parkwood pulled out of the Byrcroft Cup this year due to economic troubles, but the Koalas are in a strong financial position, which makes the situation more baffling.