Hervey Bay Seagulls unveil club's first signing for 2018
HERVEY Bay unveiled its first official signing of the 2018 season, but don't expect this Seagull to take a hit-up.
Jimmy the Seagull signed on the dotted line at Seagulls HQ on Wednesday afternoon to become the first person to sign a contract for 2018.
"It feels great to be the first signing for this great club,” the man beneath the Seagull costume, James Hamilton, said.
"I've always loved rugby league, and the great club that is the Seagulls, and I'd like to thank Brendan and Alan for allowing me to be the mascot again this year.”
Hamilton has been a regular fixture at Stafford Park, and other Bundaberg Rugby League grounds, for years. In 2016, he donned the suit for the first time.
"I've been involved since mid-2016 and I love everything about it,” he said.
"I had privilege of the excitement of the 2016 grand final, and had the disappointment of being on the sideline when we lost to Wallaroos in the preliminary final (last year).
"The community is great, the fans are supportive, the public are great.
"The players have claimed me as one of their own.”
Seagulls president Brendan Bowers said the acquisition of Jimmy the Seagull was an important step in establishing Hervey Bay's "one club culture”.
"We are a club where everyone is welcome and no one person is more important than another,” Bowers said.
"We are about inclusiveness and diversity.”
Hamilton's recent completion of a Leaguesafe course means he can run water for any Seagulls team.
Whether or not Jimmy the Seagull is afford the same privilege remains to be seen.