Goodna club backs moves to bring back essential footy
AS one of Ipswich's most experienced football administrators, Jack Rhea understands the challenge Rugby League Ipswich (RLI) chairman Gary Parker faces.
"How do you please everybody?'' Rhea said, reflecting on current moves to salvage the Ipswich senior and junior rugby league competitions following earlier cancellations.
Current Goodna and District Rugby League Club president Rhea served for nine years as Ipswich Rugby League and later RLI chairman, along with a three-year leadership stint on the Referees Association.
He can appreciate the difficult situation Parker is in after what has been an unprecedented period in Ipswich rugby league due to COVID-19 pressures.
That was compounded by having to originally call off the 2020 season before a financial lifeline from the Queensland Rugby League restored hope of providing shortened junior and senior competitions.
Parker has been negotiating with clubs trying to get at least four senior teams to play in addition to a revamped junior series.
So far, only Goodna, West End and Norths have committed to fielding senior sides.
The junior situation is much brighter with Goodna, West End, Swifts, Norths and Redbank Plains vowing to offer teams for a 10-week series starting next month.
While Parker continues searching for a fourth senior side, Rhea said Goodna were prepared to back both competitions.
"Definitely get the juniors going and hopefully we can get a fourth (senior team),'' Rhea said.
"We want to keep interest in it, especially with the kids.
"Being told there was no comp, a lot of players are doing other things.
"I don't think three (senior) teams is going to work. I think it's got to be four.
"It would have been good to have a bit of (senior) football towards the end of the year.''
Rhea, who started as Goodna club president this year, knows how tough it is for sporting organisations in the current environment without reliable revenue streams.
"Clubs rely on game days to keep going,'' he said.
"With a facility, you still have got to pay your insurance, electricity and all the other odds and ends.
"No revenue coming in, it makes it hard.''
Rhea hopes having junior games at venues like Goodna's Woogaroo Field will allow canteens to reopen and help ease some financial pressure.
Rhea said the Eagles were still waiting on parents to confirm player availability before confirming team numbers.
"The last I heard, things were looking all right,'' the club president said.
"We'll field as many as we can get.''