Sport

M’boro to play key part in Brothers’ bid

Brothers Maryborough clubhouse reopens after last years floods - Chris Bourke (jnr. pres) and (R) Jeff Nugent (snr. pres) with mebers and friends celebrate the revamped club house.
Brothers Maryborough clubhouse reopens after last years floods - Chris Bourke (jnr. pres) and (R) Jeff Nugent (snr. pres) with mebers and friends celebrate the revamped club house. Alistair Brightman

THEY may be seen as a grassroots club in a small market, but Brothers Maryborough could play a vital part in an audacious bid to turn the famed Brothers Leprechauns into an NRL club.

Justin Barlow, the brains behind the Brothers NRL bid, was a special guest at Brothers Maryborough's clubhouse reopening on Saturday night where he gave an update on where the bid was headed.

While a Brothers NRL club would be based in Brisbane, Barlow said it was Brothers' large reach and unprecedented network to deliver a pathway from juniors to NRL that would allow them compete against the Broncos and other NRL clubs.

"From our research we can't find any team in the world where you can play for the most junior level like under-6s at Maryborough Brothers and effectively we could identify you and bring you all the way through to the most elite level under one brand and one ideology and one philosophy," he said.

"For us it's not just about identifying talent, it's about starting at the most junior level and instilling proper behavioural expectations and what it means to be a good citizen and be a real man."

Although Brothers Maryborough is located 250km from Brisbane, Barlow, who helped build AFL club Gold Coast Suns, said you shouldn't underestimate the important role all Brothers chapters have in building a strong case for inclusion in the NRL.

"They're the most integral part in what we're doing," he said.

"Our strategy is we have to connect to the grassroots and that's for the betterment of rugby league, not just for the betterment of Brothers.

"We need to have the closest relationship that we can with our grassroots because in the end they're the people who support your business and drive your business further.

"For an NRL side, if you replicate what they have in Maryborough Brothers and replicate that around over 40 clubs over 17 cities and three states, you have a viable business and a viable NRL side."

Other cities with Brothers clubs and junior teams include Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, Ipswich, Bundaberg, Toowoomba and Gladstone.

The NRL is expected to expand the code in the coming years with the ARL Commission expected to narrow the field of expansion contenders in May next year.

Brothers' major threats in south-east Queensland for an NRL licence are the Western Corridor and Brisbane Bombers.

While Suncorp Stadium will host the majority of Brothers' home games, Barlow said they would also play games in regional markets where there was a strong Brothers presence.

"We're not bound by geography, so we aren't just about delivering elite level rugby league and community initiatives to one region, we can deliver it to multiple regions," he said.

"The theory is we would play six to eight of our games at Suncorp Stadium so we've got access to the strong Brisbane fans and corporate market there, but we would take our remaining four to six matches to the regions.

"Therefore we're bringing elite level rugby league, bringing all the promotion that comes with it and creating jobs within those towns.

"And the best thing is it's not just about Brothers, because all the other clubs in those small towns who aren't Brothers people can connect to whatever team we're playing so we can help grow other NRL club's presence in these small regions."

Barlow was joined by about 100 people at the Brothers Maryborough clubhouse reopening and was quite impressed by not only the completed refurbishments 18 months after the 2013 floods, but also the direction the club was heading.

"The number one thing a grassroots club and an elite level club have in common is they can put an emphasis on behavioural standards and club culture and vision and to be honest I don't think I have seen too many clubs that do it better than Maryborough Brothers," he said.

"It's very obvious what they are about and the expectations they put on themselves and that seeps out in everyone you meet.

"That's how they've been able to battle through the tough times and its starting to come through on the field."




Hervey Bay’s historic rugby league winning streak continues

EASY TRY: Joel McCrea breaks through uncontested for one of Hervey Bay Seagulls’ tries during their 50-0 win over Wests Panthers yesterday.

It's the first time Hervey Bay Seagulls have won this many in a row.

Brothers too strong for United; win minor title

FREE KICK: Brothers' Blake O'Brien assesses a free kick while United Warriors prepare their wall and (inset) United’s Isaac Harvey.

Brothers Aston Villa prevailed 4-0 against United Warriors.

Goal on debut earns Warriors vital victory

BATTLE: Brothers' Karina Bennett and United's Victoria Merrick fight for possession during Saturday’s Wide Bay League: game between United Warriors and Brothers Aston Villa at Hervey Bay Sports.

Warriors' 1-0 win could help United finish second.

Latest deals and offers

Reno stars want tradies to focus a little more on one thing

The Demmrichs want Tradies to look after their most important tool

Day 2 Splendour Pictures

Sticky Fingers perform at Splendour in the Grass 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Splendour in the Grass Day 2 covered in pictures.

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles