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Gippsland Rugby League Media Release – 25/2/02

Tele-Conference assess the future of rugby league in Gippsland via

By Kiri Hiriaki – Secretary - 26th February 2002 - Back to News

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Gippsland Rugby League and VRL Operations Manager, Andrew Simons recently met with three out of four club Presidents on Thursday to assess the future of rugby league in Gippsland via Tele-Conference. Whilst doubt has been cast in past recent weeks, this meeting proved invaluable with positive ideas and feedback provided.

It seems highly likely that the competition will comprise of three teams, Churchill Gladiators; Morwell Miners and Traralgon Panthers. With Panthers being the strongest and most structural club at present, Churchill and Morwell have indicated their commitment to field a team. League Executives are hopeful and will be working diligently with Sale to field a side to make it a four-team competition.

The State League Competition has been deferred to Season 2003 as both Goulburn Murray and Melbourne Rugby League Divisions opted to concentrate on local competition leaving Gippsland with no alternative but to comply. After much discussion with newly appointed Coach Paul Chapman, this move has provided Gippsland with time to re-group for this elite competition welcoming deferment and compliance.

A "Family Fun Day" has been benchmarked for early March. A Super 8’s competition with prize money will be up for grabs with the possibility of selecting players for an East v West match. This match has been scheduled to play at Olympic Park, curtain raiser to Melbourne Storm at the end of March. League Executives are confident that this day would entice old and new players to the core.

In amalgamation with the draw for this season, fixtures will be scheduled to include matches against country rivals Goulburn Murray Rugby League Division. These matches will compliment this season’s fixtures providing both divisions variety and will be played in Melbourne on Saturday’s before a Melbourne Storm match with all Players/Team Management receiving free entry to Storm matches to begin mid April.

The League yet again faced another challenge with the unexpected resignation of life member and league President Mark Strini due to heavy work demand; a possible full knee construction and shoulder operation. Whilst Strini’s departure may be viewed as untimely in the rugby league circle, executives recognise and acknowledge the amount of time and work Strini has given in this position over the past five years and wish him well for the future. Rob Wright who is well known to rugby league followers in Gippsland was appointed President at Thursday’s special meeting. Wright brings back to the league much experience from his days as President back in the early 90’s and is more-well known and regarded for his role as referee.

On a junior level, the two newly employed GRL Development Officers Vincent Hiriaki and David Noda, will very soon meet with VRL State Foundation officers.

The encounter will be a time for both officers to slide into this newly created position with ease. As in recent years, Primary Schools will still be serviced with primary focus this year on Secondary schools. Hiriaki states there are a lot of children wanting to play rugby league in secondary schools, we can no longer ignore this and the time is right.

If you would like further information about seniors, juniors or Super 8’s competition, please contact the league secretary on 5175 0733.

Yours in Rugby League, Kiri Hiriaki – Secretary


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