The Binalong Brahmans have made it no secret that they plan to make an immediate impact as they prepare to return to the George Tooke Shield (GTS) competition in 2024.
After sitting out the 2023 season due to a lack of player interest, the club has made an audacious bid to field a strong side in 2024.
Brahmans stalwart Chris Rawlinson has been installed as coach, with Tony Worthy assisting, and it seems a fitting move after Rawlinson and Worthy guided the Brahmans to back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014.
Canberra Regional Rugby League (CRRL) General Manager Mark Vergano is backing the move, and he and his team are there to support the Brahmans renaissance.
“It’s been firmly on our radar, and (Senior Competition Administrator) Deb Charman has been talking to Ben and Ali Spencer,” Vergano said.
“They have indicated they want to return, and we would love to have them back.
“They are going through their processes to see what numbers are like, and financially, they are okay, and recently, they played a couple of games against Eugowra.
“We’re pleased to possibly have them back, and we’ll work with them regarding viability and what needs to be done to be back out playing next season.”
Binalong plans to field three sides next year, including men’s tackle, women’s tackle, and League Tag outfits.
Still, Vergano appreciated it would be a significant effort to get all sides up and running, especially after a season in the wilderness.
“Ideally, they can field all sides, and we’ll talk to them and work it out,” Vergano said.
“With bush footy being footy and townships being townships, things change, work ends, and people and families move on, which can put pressure on clubs.
“Even though I’m a city boy come regional, I’ve been here long enough to know there are ebbs and flows, and at the end of the day, we just want to provide footy and keep it as sustainable as possible.”
While it appears that Binalong has the green light for next season, the CRRL still needs to get through their upcoming AGM and host a committee meeting to determine the Brahmans’ future.
“We’re behind it, but it still has to go to the Canberra Regina Rugby League meeting, which will be post the AGM,” Vergano said.
“We should have a very good idea towards the end of the year, but everything is looking good.”
In more good news, the CRRL organisers want to implement a ten-a-side GTS women’s tackle competition in 2024, complementing the already-existing Katrina Fanning Shield competition.
Expressions of interest have been sent to clubs, and the Yass Valley Times will have more on this development next week.