By Jayden Cameron

Being on the Board of Directors in the mid 90’s was a difficult task, with little competitions available and pathways being scarce for Rugby League players in Victoria. However, with the help of key contributors like Peter Campbell, NRL Victoria was able to establish a competitive avenue, with sufficient pathways from amateur football to the professional field.

Mr. Campbell was inducted into the NRL Victoria as a Life Member in 1996, with his contribution as Finance Director for eight years, being key into the way the organisation is run today. As finance director, Campbell played a massive role in negotiations with the Australian Rugby League, ARL, and the Super League wars.

However, when the time came, Campbell stood firm, being a true believer in loyalty, despite being offered a lot more money to side with Super League.

“It would have been disastrous to dump sponsorship money, and leave the ARL, to go chase more money. We [NRL Victoria] wanted to be loyal to the ARL who were loyal to us.”

The way out turned it, the Super League offer reigned supreme, and shaped the NRL what it is today, however, Campbell has no regrets in passing on the offer for loyalty.

Peter Campbell was originally from country NSW, where he was involved in administration for Rugby League since 1976. He made the move to Victoria with old friendships realigning from NSW times, to form the Board of Directors.

The pathways involved for players in the mid 90’s was extremely difficult, with very few games giving the opportunity needed to be noticed and scouted. Whereas now, NRL Victoria gives players the domestic competition needed to fulfil their potential, and have enough pathways to reach from domestic grade through to a professional level.

The competition structure was a little different, with a couple of curtain raisers before State of Origin games, and Australia v New Zealand test matches. From these curtain raisers, the State sides were picked and competed in the Developing States Championship, or now known as the Combined Affiliate States Championship.

Campbell believes that with the success of Melbourne Storm, the sport ‘will only continue to grow, and the pathways will become even more easier for players.”


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