Woopi juniors now dressed for success

RUGBY league players at Sandy Beach primary will have a fresh look this season after receiving new jerseys from Woolgoolga Seahorses.

Part of an ongoing plan to have every school in their catchment area decked out in club colours, the Seahorses will have a set of jumpers delivered to Mullaway within four weeks and the set tagged for Corindi will arrive soon after.

"The long range plan to have all the district schools wearing new gear is something we've been working on for some time and is part of our wider community involvement," club secretary Paul Dwyer said.

"We've been involved in fundraising for surfers and athletes, all part of the culture of the area and not just restricting ourselves to our own sport."

After years playing second fiddle, rugby league has become the boom football code on the Northern Beaches.

For the first time, Woolgoolga junior league has nominated in every age division for the Group 2 Beautizone season commencing this weekend and junior president David Hayes is confident his club will boast the biggest registration in the competition.

"Sawtell will be our closest rival in numbers but we'll have more than 200 youngsters playing and already that's up by 30 on last year," he said.

"The numbers continue on an upward spiral year after year and we're happy to be able to enter two teams in five age groups from this weekend."

Both senior and junior bodies credit the arrival of John Cross to coach the Seahorses in 2005 as the turning point.

"Crossy's full of enthusiasm for his community and everywhere he goes he leaves people feeling good," Dwyer said.

"He brokered a new spirit of co-operation and by filling in the gaps there'll now be a steady stream of young players coming through the grades for years to come."

Ironically, Cross will join another coaching legend for sideline parenting duties in Mini League.

John O'Conner, who took the club to the 1992 Group 2 grand final, is Mini-Mod coaching co-ordinator and both he and Cross will have sons playing side-by-side.

"It's perpeuating the gene pool," Dwyer said.

When accepting the new jumpers for Sandy Beach, school captain Josh McBrien was asked what team he wanted to play for.

"Seahorses, of course," he said.

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