Player Numbers - Lack of Them

The obstacles faced in the early days.

Player Numbers - Lack of Them

The club attempted to field teams in the A Grade, Reserve Grade and Under 19 competitions from 1971 onwards. Since almost every player was under nineteen years of age at the time, the Club had no problems fielding teams in that Grade. Putting fifteen players on the paddock in the other grades was more problematic. These boys gave other clubs a huge advantage in the premier grade in terms of player size, strength, stamina and experience. This handicap was exacerbated in June and July when the Teachers College closed for the mid-year vacation and students returned to their home towns for rest and recuperation from the rigors of academic life. Or, in the case of rugby players to dry out and bulk up with a course of home cooked meals. This made it impossible to field full strength teams. Players who lived in Townsville were often called upon to double up; that is, play Under 19 and then play a full game in another grade later in the afternoon. Clearly, this situation placed enormous constraints on the competitiveness and viability of the fledgling club.