Storm Goulburn Murray Premiership’s newest team the Tumbarumba Greens have enjoyed a strong start since returning to the competition in 2023, with the future looking bright for the club as it aims to restore itself to its former glory.
Despite being a late entry into the competition, the Greens have quickly hit their straps and will be eager to get one back on a CSU Mud Dogs side that got the better of them earlier in the season.
Last year’s reigning champs the Mud Dogs won the round 1 fixture 22-4 but since then, the Greens have only gone from strength to strength, winning four on the trot.
The Greens success is made even more remarkable given the late nature of their team submission.
While the club had initially planned on bringing both a women’s and men’s team into the competition in 2024, Greens club president Raymond Lynch said the overwhelming number of players eager to play meant the team was able to get off the ground in short notice.
“Initially we were going to aim to get back in 2024 but club captain Maddison McPherson put a strong case forward and came back to us with a list of 26 players showing interest,” he said.
“I said I wasn’t going to rush it if we didn’t have the numbers but once I realised just how many were keen, I rang up and got it organised,” he said.
Lynch said that given the short notice before the season started, it took a while for the team to get their fitness levels where they wanted them to be but since then the team has improved every week.
“It was a bit of a late start and the girls were probably a little unfit just purely because we only got one or two training sessions in before the start of the season,” he said.
“Now they’re starting to hit their straps and gel as a team which is great, we are five rounds in and on the weekend they really played as a team which was really enjoyable to watch,” Lynch said.
“We have a tough game this week against CSU as they beat us in the very first game but if we play like we did on the weekend then I’m sure we can give CSU a big wakeup call,” he said.
Lynch said giving girls the opportunity to try their hand at rugby league through a version like League Tag was a fantastic way to expose new girls to the sport.
“We have sort of got AFL and netball as the sports that take precedent at the moment, so we are just trying to get rugby league back in the town,” he said.
“The good thing is that the girls that are here are really keen and hungry to play,” he said.
“We’ve got a couple of really good young teams coming through the ranks as well so in a couple of years we will be able to give them opportunities, which is great as it will be hard to keep them in the town if we don’t have anything there to give them,” he said.
As for the future, Lynch said the club was moving in a really positive direction with the arrival of a potential men’s team in 2024, Lynch believes it will help unify the town and club together.
“There’s a lot of history here, a lot of people have come back too and shown interest in the club,” he said.
“I think we can do it next year, as it was all just a bit too late and hard to get guys register at such late notice to get a team running [in 2023].” Lynch said.
“Next year we can start planning, have a full preseason and start talking to blokes to get organised to play,” he said.
“I’d love to have two teams so we can hold a magic round where all the teams come and play like we have in the competition at the moment, the support we would get here would be amazing.”
You can catch the the Tumbarumba Greens in action against the CSU Mud Dogs at 2:00pm at Corowa Cougars Rugby League Football Ground on Sunday.