Upset Bello official in trouble

BELLINGER Valley-Dorrigo Magpies president Josh White could be in deep, deep trouble.

His problem stems from a quote attributed to him in a Sydney newspaper on Sunday, discussing the spirited debate about limited versus unlimited interchange in VB Gold Group 2.

Spies have told your scribbler that the reference to “old blokes on the committee who don’t want to change anything” was a generalisation pointing more toward antiquated attitudes in the game, rather than the management committee itself.

But the context in which it was written makes it look like White was taking a pot-shot at Group officials who may now be inclined to charge him with a disciplinary offence whereby he has been “involved in conduct which is detrimental or prejudicial to the welfare and good image of Rugby League or of any of the Group, Club or Constituent League”.

Yes, folks ... the hated, outdated and demonstrably illegal “bringing the game into disrepute” charge in Section 48 (a) (ii) of the Model Constitution.

The Group’s management may feel aggrieved, but in this particular circumstance, one feels quite strongly they should refrain from tossing a rule book at a clearly upset club official and get down to the root cause of why complaints like this are becoming a regular occurrence.

The interchange debate is merely a symptom of a groundswell of disquiet in grass roots bush football.

A new breed of younger, better-educated, outspoken and clearly frustrated administrators are entering positions of authority.

They are looking at the decaying state of their clubs and the game in general and starting to get very vocal indeed about the do-nothing “steady as she goes” philosophies of the past that have contributed so devastatingly to conditions in the bush.

And they are looking at those who have sat quietly on the fence or on their hands while the cancer has been spreading and once in a while people – like Josh White – have decided to lash out.

Unfortunately, sometimes people get hurt and one has sympathy for our senior Group 2 administrators.

Overwhelmingly, the panel made up of Mayhew, Mieni, Anderson, O’Grady, Glyde, Murphy and Cullen are decent, honest people.

If one was to be critical of them, it would be for their desire to diligently carry out the wishes of a range of wishy-washy delegates attending organised conferences who don’t have the same imagination and long-term dedication as they do.

However, that’s a story for another day.

Without talking out of school, the two clubs most likely to be looking at the realities of their present situation and deciding changes have to be made – or they are sitting ducks for rival winter codes – are Bellingen and Orara Valley.

Similar stirrings are going on among the more enlightened and lateral thinkers in junior league ranks.

Nobody among those who are quiet at the moment should be resting on their laurels, either.

In fact, it can easily be argued the grassroots should be in open revolt, especially now this Stakeholder’s Review we’ve been discussing lately delivers proof the sedentary habits of those at the top has just about precipitated a disaster.

In the wake of this review, one feels nothing less than a no confidence motion against CRL for its inaction in development in the face of encroachment by soccer, rugby and AFL (in particular), is justified.

Josh White may look and sound like he’s frustrated about an interchange rule, but bet your last dollar he’s more upset about there now being more little Bulldogs playing AFL in a town once crawling with little Magpie leaguies.

And one bets he’s absolutely livid those with the power to help stem the tide are staying silent.

Unless we get more people with passion (like Josh) to speak their mind, we may as well give up now.



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