Rep squads leave a player gap

Jake Seaton playing for Queensland at Suncorp Stadium last year.
Jake Seaton playing for Queensland at Suncorp Stadium last year.

Calling all under-18 and under-16 rugby league players, there are jerseys with your names on them at the Coolum Colts.

President Steve Turnbull is calling for players because the under-18 and under-16 sides are in danger of not making it on to the paddock this season.

But it is not because local players are not good enough. Indeed, the converse: Coolum’s young players have been too successful and have gone on to greater things, leaving the cupboard bare in some divisions.

“Over the years, the guys who would have made up this year’s under-18s have been the first picked in the Sunshine Coast representative squads,” Mr Turnbull said.

“It was only a couple of seasons ago that 11 of them were in the Sunshine Coast 16s side. Last year we had six in the Wide Bay squad and this year, because of that talent, we are struggling to make up a team.”

“Many of the boys have moved on because they have aspirations of playing in the NRL.”

Former Australian schoolboy and ex-Coolum Colt Jake Seaton is with the Penrith Panthers and Jose Hawkins has signed with premiers Manly.

Mr Turnbull said other local players lost to Coolum include former Queensland rep Zeke Forster and Australian indigenous player Jack Warrick, who are training with the Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles colts team, “which, in all, makes a loss of eight players”.

“We tried to stop the player drain by appointing highly respected coach Paul Grundy as this year’s coach but at the moment we are really struggling to make a side,” he said.

“It is ironic when you consider that the reason we started the senior teams was to try and keep these boys together as they were so talented and would have been a great A grade side but it appears that many of them are even too good for the local league.”

“So we are putting a call out for players in both the 18s and 16s age groups who would like a game.

“We still expect the side to be very competitive and with the new draw we get 10 home games.”

Interested players should call Bob McGrath on 0423 933 179.

In other Colts news, Mr Turnbull said the club had been rocked by Saturday’s accident involving club stalwart Dale Shearer.

“All at the club wish Rowdy a speedy recovery and our thoughts are with his family.”

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