Gimbisi?s last-ditch bid to play in 2007
By GREG WHITE
GIMBISI VALLEY rugby league club have not given up their fight for re-instatement to the Carlton Mid Group 2 competition and are currently lobbying voting members to reconsider their decision to omit the club from the premiership.
In a statement issued through solicitor Patrick Donovan of Wrights Legal, Warriors president Tony Gray pointed out a draw publicised prior to the Annual General Meeting had included the Warriors and claimed "a Group 2 official had indicated there were no problems with the club being readmitted into the 2007 season". "The club is concerned that in making their decision, the Group relied on incidents in 2005 and 2006 for which the club was cleared on appeal by the Country Rugby League," the statement said.
"A mechanmism for appeals against this form of 'double jeopardy' is currently being deliberated by the CRL."
Gimbisi have been prominent in discussions concerning the proposed statewide Nations Aboriginal competition due to commence in March.
"The Warriors believe that it is in the interests of Aboriginal football, and rugby league football generally, if Aboriginal teams play in mainstream competitions," the statement continued.
"Four of the Warriors' 2006 junior players have been drafted into the SG Ball competiton, a junior feeding ground for NRL clubs and the under-18s won the 2006 Group 2 competition.
"The club believes that playing mainstream competition best enhances these opportunities.
"If the club's apppeal for re-entry fails it will have no choice other than to play in the Aboriginal competition, however, its first priority is to play with Group 2 and hopes its efforts will be rewarded."
Group treasurer Jim Anderson said the Warriors were within their rights to lobby the affiliated bodies with a constitutional formula in place for the purpose.
"It will need a Special General Meeting before any case can be heard but they'll need to get the required numbers for that to happen," he said. "I'm unaware of any precedent for this course of action."
Meanwhile, the rival Kempsey-based Dunghutti club is also looking at its options to gain a start in Group 2.
"We are a totally different organisation to Gimbisi Warriors," club spokesperson Paul Davis said. Davis has agreed to an interview in coming weeks with the Coffs Coast Advocate to outline his club's case for admission.