Tenterfield Tigers’ dilemma as to whether to return to Group 19 or remain in the Border Rugby League competition was solved for them last week when the southern Queensland competition folded.
Killarney and Inglewood failed to form committees after several attempts leaving Tenterfield and Stanthorpe as the only clubs in the Border League competition.
“The Border Rugby League last night confirmed that the competition would go into recess for the 2018 season due to only two clubs being able to form a committee to affiliate to play,” Border League said in a statement released on Facebook last Thursday.
“It is a very sad day indeed, but after numerous attempts by two clubs to attempt to form new committees, they were of the opinion that would not be able to participate.”
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Tigers with the introduction of a second division in Group 19.
President Brendan Minns said there are mixed emotions among Tigers with disappointment around no more BRL but an exciting prospect of lining up in a tough Group 19 competition which includes a ladies league tag division.
“It is definitely disappointing that it has come to this and the competition can't get off the ground,” he said.
“On the other hand it opens a new pathway and a new prospect for us to play in the Group 19 second division competition.
“Stanthorpe look like they are going to head towards the Toowoomba C grade competition and for us Toowoomba C grade doesn't have the ladies league tag so it is definitely a positive for us to head south and go towards a competition it does have the ladies league tag.
“We already have eight to 10 girls that are keen to play.”
Prior to last week’s BRL announcement, the Tigers were in two minds whether to join the new second division or remain in their current tournament.
Current and potential players met with the Tenterfield committee last week to discuss their playing future.
Questions were raised over the extra travel if they were to head south but Minns said the playing group were eager to join a six-team tournament.
“Once it was all explained and everything the travel is really irrelevant, like I said in that last one if you want to play footy you play footy, you don't worry about how far away it is,” he said.
“I think more so the prospect of having a six-team competition to play in and your typical home and away, that really appealed to our players.
“Also the fact a lot of the players were very mindful of our hundredth year anniversary coming up and the fact we didn't have girls this year, and opportunity for the girls to come back into the Group 19 competition and be a part of 100 years of the Tenterfield Tigers.
“There was a lot of boys there at the meeting who were all for getting the girls running again and getting them back for the club.”
Minns said it was a relief the decision on where to play wasn’t left on the shoulders of the committee.
“We were definitely undecided as to how this next season was going to pan out and also booking at the fact that we would've had to make a decision, if it were a left to us and we left the Border League I think the Border league would have folded on the back of us leaving,” he said.
“We would have felt pretty bad but the fact that decision has been made for us and there is a competition there ready for us to go is fantastic.”
Ashford, Guyra, Uralla, Bundarra and Bingara are touted as the other five teams to make up second division.
Celebrating the centenary
With their future decided the Tigers turn to planning celebrations for their 100 year anniversary.
When they celebrated 70 years in the game, Tenterfield released a book on the club’s history and the same is planned for the centenary year.
The committee are asking members of the public to come on board and contribute to celebrating the milestone but the response has been underwhelming.
“We have held a meeting and only two people have come forward to help out,” Minns said.
“Unfortunately the committee themselves, we could be a part of it but we don't have the time to run the whole thing so we are asking all past players and committee members that have had a substantial amount of involvement in football in Tenterfield to come forward and help out getting this 100 year book underway.”
One hundred years is no mean feat and another meeting will be held on Wednesday at 6.30pm at the Rugby League Park clubhouse to try and get the production of the book going.
Minns asked members of the Tenterfield community to come forward and help out by either attending the meeting, contacting him on 0423 264 661 or ringing Debbie Minns on 0411 021 069.