Loan scheme: Bold plan to save Gold Coast footy
FIFTY of the Tweed and Gold Coast's best footballers are set to flood local competitions in a bold loan scheme which could re-energise the grassroots game.
Burleigh CEO Damien Driscoll, Tweed counterpart Matt Francis and Rugby League Gold Coast chairman Peter Daley have led preliminary talks about how Intrust Super Cup players can get a game in 2020.
With the ISC season cancelled and RLGC on hold until at least June 1, there remains a glimmer of hope that local first grade clubs can become temporary homes for the 50 or so Bears and Seagulls players.
While Burleigh field an A-grade side, the club couldn't cope with a full squad of players returning to that level.
Instead, in a move that would ensure the playing field remains even, Ormeau or Tugun, for example, could be the new club of Kurtis Rowe, Luke Page or Lindon McGrady.
While some players are already dual-registered, the marquee talents, many of whom have NRL experience, could soon bolster a RLGC competition bleeding from coronavirus lockdown.
Interim Tweed CEO Francis confirmed his club is open to the idea.
"We have some players dual-registered at Southport and Tugun and also some in northern NSW," he said.
"And those who aren't already, we'll certainly be looking at opportunities to get them a game."
Daley mooted the idea of the ISC clubs breaking the region into two for allocations.
"Maybe the Seagulls would loan players to the lower half (of the Coast) and Burleigh in the north," he said.
"The finer points we haven't settled on because we are working towards kicking off again."
RLGC boss Daley was excited by the prospect.
"Absolutely. I can't wait for it to happen, to be honest. Imagine Luke Page running around for Mudgeeraba. People would come out of the woodwork to see that," Daley said.
"I hope it does happen. How good would that be? It would bring a bit more interest into the competition and Burleigh wouldn't be able to put all their players back into their A-grade team.
"It would be great if they could loan some to Southport or Currumbin."
Driscoll confirmed his club is open to the idea of exporting talents for 2020 until the ISC returns.
"There is hope that they can play in the local competition if and when it gets up and running," he said.
"They just love the game and they just want to play.
"We haven't considered what it looks like but they can't all go back and play for Burleigh so we have to think about what's good for the game.
"There are seven teams other than Burleigh in first grade and some of our players will want to go back to northern NSW as well."