Brighton aims for Premier grade
There is nothing more refreshing than seeing a new team enter the Brisbane Second Division competition aspiring to give the opposition teams a real run for their money.
Brighton Roosters, a long-standing junior rugby league club have made the brave step and will enter a side in the 2016 Brisbane Second Division Premier competition.
(At this stage, the side has not been officially admitted to the premier grade by the Division.)
The Roosters have always had a fantastic junior nursery and normally enter sides in the lower tiers in the league, but 2016 is set to be the inaugural year the Roosters club will come alive playing the likes of heavyweights Bulimba, Brothers and Dayboro to mention but a few.
The brainchild of this experiment is current Greece international player Nathan Hughes. Hughes is no stranger to the Brisbane Second Division, having played for Pine Rivers previously and also having a stint in the FOGS Cup for the Sunshine Coast Falcons, before transferring this season to the South Sydney A Grade Competition in NSW. Hughes also suited up for Burwood in the Ron Massey Cup.
He has played alongside household names such as Braith Anasta and Michael Korkidas (for Greece) and the knowledge they have passed on to him will be invaluable to his current squad.
Speaking from his Sydney home, Hughes shared his thoughts on how the team evolved and his inspiration for starting a new side in Brisbane Premier Competition.
“I had a chat with a few players I have known for years about getting a side together to spruce up the comp,” he said.
“I knew it would be a hard slog trying to get players from clubs that they have been playing for a long time, but bringing back local juniors to the Brighton club seemed a no brainer for me and something I am passionate about.”
When Hughes is talking about local juniors, this includes one of their gun signings in Brent Boyd.
Boyd who had a phenomenal 2015 season, is a Brisbane Representative player and annually tops the point scoring for the Gaters club year in year out.
Hughes goes on to say how those sort of players will attract even more strike weapons to the club.
“Signing Boydy was unbelievable, he is one of the best players in the comp,” he said.
“I have also picked up current Brisbane Rep player Junior Crawford who in my view could easily play BRL on a weekly basis.
“We have also landed the services of former Queensland Reds player Eddie Nanai and Samoan international Ray Stowers.
“I will also be playing with my brother Clinton again which is special for me as it will add a special touch playing alongside family.”
Hughes will captain/coach the 2016 squad and believes the side will add new interest to the competition and breathe some new life into the Premier grade.
Certainly on paper, the personnel that have been assembled is definitely impressive, however Hughes said there was still much more work to be done.
Any new side building from the ground up needs quality people around the club and two stalwarts of the Brisbane Second Division in Michelle McCullagh and Jeff Sanders are those people.
McCullagh has been a long-standing volunteer for the Pine Rivers club and Jeff is a Roosters man through and through.
Both Michelle and Jeff have come on board to inject some new ideas and new blood into the newly-formed side which Hughes is very grateful.
“Without the support from people like Michelle and Jeff, the club dies.
“I will be concentrating on developing the younger players in 2016 as well as looking to my older blokes for guidance throughout the season.
“The other items on the agenda; Michelle and Jeff will take care of and I am forever grateful that they see my vision for the club.”
The Roosters will also field an Open 2 and Open 3 side next season, so there is definitely interest in the club moving forward and has the locals crowing around town.
For more information on the Brighton Roosters 2016 Premier side; interested players, sponsors and or supporters can contact Nathan Hughes on 0477 220 888 or Jeff Sanders on 0424 255 858.
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