ProTen Community Cup coming to bring rugby league back to Group 17 stomping ground

It has been over a decade since Group 17 was disbanded but now it seems the time is right for an amateur competition to take up the reins.

Following a meeting in Goolgowi with David Skinner from Country Rugby League (CRL) and Mark Stenhouse from Group 20 the competition to be known as the ProTen Community Cup was given the green light.

Alex Brown, Helen Sandford, Geoff Hale and Robert Moore

Alex Brown, Helen Sandford, Geoff Hale and Robert Moore

Goolgowi’s Geoff Hale, who has been pushing to get the competition started, was ecstatic with the decision.

“We have just been missing having a competition out here,” he said.

“When it was alive and kicking it brought the communities together, and it gives people a purpose, not just the players but also those who can get involved behind the scenes and the spectators as well.

“Footy was the hub for these communities back in the day, so it’s great that we have been given this opportunity.

“No one under the age of 30 has really had the chance to play for their out here since the competition folded 12 years ago and 80-85 percent of the players that have expressed interest are not associated with any Group 20 club.”

RELATED

While Goolgowi has been treated to Group 20 games in recent years, this is a chance for the towns to represent themselves.

“We have had the Black and Whites bring a home game out here, and we really appreciate them doing that,” he said.

“After the game last year I started to put things together and sent a letter to other clubs who were involved back in the day, and it has taken off from there. Peter Hogno from Hillston and Jamie Parsons from Rankin Springs have come on board as well and have been really helpful.”

The competition looks set to start on in the last week of May and would see three games played in the one town over one weekend.

“CRL realised it wouldn’t be a regular home and away type of fixtures instead it will be three games of footy at one ground,” he said.

“When the games are it it will be a great boost for the host town not just for the clubs and it will also help with the shortage of referees around the area.”

Naming rights sponsors ProTen have shown their generous side contributing $8000 to go towards jersey, shorts and socks fall all six teams taking part