Seagulls set for a full rebuild on and off the field
HERVEY Bay Seagulls could endure a few tough A-grade seasons but it will be worth the wait if Brendan Bowers' plans take shape.
The club's new president unveiled his plan for the Seagulls, who have won the past three Bundaberg Rugby League A-grade minor premierships, and broke a 15-year title drought in 2016.
Bowers' plan is not restricted to, or involved immediate on-field success.
Instead, he freely admits the senior sides could grind their way to a bigger victory in years to come. First and foremost is to rebuild a love for the Seagulls.
"Two years ago premiers, last year minor premiers, and we've lost a few players to other clubs this year so we are in a real rebuilding phase,” Bowers said.
"On the senior side we want to create a culture where you want to play for Hervey Bay.
"It's not necessarily for money, but it's for the right reasons: you're here to enjoy rugby league, and play with your mates.”
That will start among the club's junior ranks.
Juniors president Toni Worthington said the plan was to ensure the Seagulls' youngest players continued to excel in competition, and earn the skills that could lead to higher honours.
The Seagulls boasted three premiers and two minor premiers in the internationals age groups, and Worthington said she hoped they could repeat, and build upon, those results.
"We've got two going to Wynnum-Manly Seagulls, but the players here, we'd love to see them moving up the under-18s and keeping that culture the whole way through,” Worthington said.
"In the juniors we need to start and make sure that by the time they reach seniors they have the skills.”
As juniors progress, it will mean the club's senior teams can recruit and promote their own players to the highest level.
"If we get that right, they'll stay on and be Seagulls in their playing career,” Bowers said.
"We can have the pathways for them to go to the Intrust Super Cup and the NRL. If you get the front office right, the results will take care of themselves. We get too focused on results sometimes - you can have a very successful season and not make the finals.
"This season we want everyone to be proud of being a Seagull.”
The club is yet to formally appoint any coaches, and Bowers said no senior players were locked in.
He said that could change in the weeks to come.
Bowers said the club will engage with local business.
"We've drifted away from the community a bit over the last few years,” he said. "We're in a town where there's one footy club - us - and it's time we give back to this town as well as it gives to us. I'd welcome any sponsor that wants to come on board, we'll welcome them with open arms.”
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