Seagulls roost in Bycroft Cup
TWEED Heads Seagulls will return to Gold Coast Rugby League this season with an A grade team to contest the Bycroft Cup.
In a season of major developments for the 102-year-old club, it will relocate to the Piggabeen Sports Complex and field four senior teams.
Its first grade Queensland Cup side will continue to play in the state league with an under-21 colts team, while an under-19 unit will join the A grade side in the GCRL.
In doing so, the club has implemented a pathway for Tweed players that stretches from under-7s to the NRL.
Terry Keen, executive officer of the Tweed Heads Seagulls Football Club, said the club was so confident in its local playing base it hadn't recruited new players from outside the area for the Queensland Cup side this year.
“We think the talent on the Northern Rivers and the Gold Coast area is unfathomable and haven't really looked anywhere else,” Keen said.
Ben Anderson reprises his role as the Queensland Cup coach and Keen said he would be giving the junior players plenty of opportunity to prove themselves in the pre-season.
“He is going to give the young guys every opportunity to show their wares,” Keens said.
“We have got four trials coming up where he will be able to have a good look at the players and all the young guys.
“We definitely haven't needed to look outside the local area (for players).
“There is talent on the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers and we might even find that rough diamond who goes on to play NRL.
“That is the whole premise of the club; we want to help every player reach their full potential.”
The Seagulls have started their 2011 pre-season training on Wednesdays and Fridays from 6.30pm (AEDT) at Piggabeen.
“All players are welcome; anyone who wants to train and have a run around are more than welcome,” Keen said.
The club has also secured an $85,000 grant to begin construction of a community clubhouse at the Piggabeen Sports Complex.
Keen is looking forward to seeing a full day of football at the sports complex at some stage this season when all four teams have home games on the same day.
The club has played at the Ned Byrne Field at Kingscliff in recent years and has struggled with crowd numbers.
But with Gold Coast local derbies against Bilambil Jets and South Tweed Koalas to look forward to this year at Piggabeen, crowds are sure to increase and in turn increase support for the Queensland Cup team.