Magpies meet to discuss future
By GREG WHITE
WHILE some are calling it a 'matter of survival' others see the meeting called to discuss the future of the Bellinger Valley-Dorrigo Magpies as the first of many steps needed to bring the club back into the Group 2 fold.
Scheduled for 7pm Monday night at the Diggers Tavern, the gathering aims to put together "a band of interested persons" to guide the famous old club out of the recess it took at the beginning of this season.
"The Management Committee will be in attendance and the Country Rugby has also been invited," Group 2 chairman Greg Mayhew advised.
"With so much history stretching back to the beginning of last century I'd hate to see the meeting decide to fold the club up without first making the attempt to come back in 2007.
"It all depends on finding the right people to get it up and running again."
Group treasurer and long time Bellingen member Jim Anderson said while he didn't wish to undervalue the importance of the meeting it would not be a case of ambushing people into taking positions with the club.
"Our idea is to gauge interest and get ideas for the future," he said.
"Nobody's trying to palm off jobs for the sake of it.
"Those wishing to revive the club will find a bit of money in the bank, a ground ready to be played on and all the equipment stored away ready for use."
Anderson believes there will be a positive outcome with a number already indicating their intention to participate.
"Once a committee is formed they have six months to work with.
"They'll have the final say as to many teams are nominated for the next competition and what grades they'll represent.
"That presents enough time to visit schools to find juniors and to identify and contact the open grade players ready to continue."
Since going into recess as many as eight ex-Magpies have played first grade with other clubs.
"Maybe we have to change our ways by looking further afield for players and sponsors and not just in our own backyard," Anderson said.
"A lot have gone away from town.
"They may find ways to encourage some to come back in out direction."
The meeting is open to the general public with representatives of all rugby league clubs encouraged to attend.