The South Tweed Koalas’ under-19 premiership-winning side of 2009 celebrating one of the highlights of the club’s recent history.
The South Tweed Koalas’ under-19 premiership-winning side of 2009 celebrating one of the highlights of the club’s recent history.

Saving the rugby league Koalas

KOALAS of the marsupial kind have long been extinct in Tweed Heads South, and now Koalas of the rugby league-playing variety are in danger of suffering the same fate.

The number of South Tweed Koalas senior players is dwindling fast and it has put the club in jeopardy of folding.

The club is struggling to field a single reserve grade side in the Gold Coast Rugby League this season, after competing in three grades in 2010.

A meeting tonight, from 7pm at Dave Burns Field, will decide whether the Koalas continue as a senior rugby league club.

President Lloyd Alexander simply needs enough committed players for a reserve grade team to keep the senior club alive.

At the moment there are about 30 registered players, but not enough of them are turning up on game day each weekend.

“South Tweed are at a stage where the club will either fold or start a rebuilding program for 2012,” Alexander said.

“We are down to just a reserve grade side and we still need players each week.

“There is an enormous amount of support for the senior club from the general public, supporters and players, but unless we get players to commit to staying with South Tweed, our season will be over.”

Last year the club's under-19s and A-grade Bycroft Cup teams just missed out on the finals in only its second season in the GCRL.

The Koalas had defected from the Northern Rivers league at the end of 2008, in part to stem the loss of players.

Alexander has put some of the club's struggles down to the concentration of rugby league teams in the area.

“Last year was a solid platform for South Tweed to build on for this year, but then player numbers started to dwindle. This could be, as some people suggested, directly attributed to allowing Seagulls to enter the Bycroft Cup,” he said.

“This meant that there were now six clubs within a five kilometre radius of Dave Burns Field all trying to sign up all the available players in that area.”

Alexander hoped potential players would respond.

“South Tweed Juniors has a very strong club and has many players in all age divisions. It is the senior club's responsibility to give those players of the future a club to play out their senior career,” he said.

“South Tweed has a long history of doing it tough over the years. The senior club will do everything in their power to remain in the Bycroft Cup this season as long as we have the support of the players and the community.”



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