Hopes alive for Gimbisi return
By GREG WHITE
RUMOURS continue to circulate that Country Rugby League favours a return by Gimbisi Valley to Carlton Mid Group 2 in the under-18 grade should a vacancy occur.
Regional Area Manager Scott Bone has confirmed this was one of many options considered in the wake of the Warriors expulsion from the competition but the parent body 'could not force any Group to accept a club they didn't want'.
"We remain keen to find a pathway to rugby league for kids in the Kempsey area," he said.
"We'll sit down to discuss the situation with anybody who wants to look at the bigger picture but we won't use force."
Bone will attend a conference in Tamworth tomorrow that will seek to end the conflict between CRL and the Aboriginal Nations Super League that threatens to tear bush football apart.
The four clubs at the centre of the storm ? Gimbisi Valley, Dhunghutti Titans, Moree Boomerangs and Narwan Eels ? have all confirmed they will attend the summit.
A professional facilitator from NSW Department of Sport and Recreation will chair the meeting.
"I believe their chairman Michael Anderson wants a compromise putting them straight back into Group competitions but that won't happen," Bone said.
"Everybody needs to look at the situation as it stands now, identify the problems that are causing a breakdown in communication and begin talks to find solutions.
"It's important nobody tries to dredge up the past as this could cause arguments for the next 20 years.
"We have to keep looking for pathways to the future."
Gimbisi Valley have started canvassing Group 2 affiliates to change their vote for expulsion.
But is there a chance they could come back in under-18s?
A precedent was set with both Woolgoolga and Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo allowed to field in the junior grade without senior teams, but for that to happen, a vacancy is required.
After being advised Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie were struggling for junior numbers, the Coffs Coast Advocate contacted both organisations for comment.
"We're confident of success in all three grades," Sharks head coach Tony Pascoe said.
And after battling for numbers in the initial stages, Comets president Dion Dawes confirmed his club was also on track.
"Without a flow from under-16s we had to work harder to get up to scratch, but we'll be there without a problem," he said.