Roving for glory: Rovers ready and raring for season 2019

Alex Stewart will be back in 2019 as a playing coach for the Boorowa Rovers' senior men's side, alongside Andrew Burns, as they look to go a couple of steps further than this year. Photo: Sharon Hinds

Alex Stewart will be back in 2019 as a playing coach for the Boorowa Rovers' senior men's side, alongside Andrew Burns, as they look to go a couple of steps further than this year. Photo: Sharon Hinds

Boorowa Rovers president Stuart Gay has Grand Finals on his mind for 2019, declaring the Rovers are ready for big things after a busy off-season. 

“We want to build on the success they had last year, and take a step forward for the League Tag, and perhaps a couple of steps forward for the Seniors and Youthleague.”

All three teams made valuable progress in 2018, with the Youthleague side reaching a Grand Final, the senior men’s side winning their first finals match in decades, while the League Tag side made the Semi-Finals.

However, the Rovers aren’t taking it easy, with the formation of a joint Under 16s side with Harden laying a long term foundation for success. 

“It’s good to have a development pathway from juniors to seniors,” Gay said, adding that the new arrangement helps bridge the gap between Under 15s and Youthleague rugby. 

“Normally there’s a void to when they play seniors…it’s four to five years and it’s hard to get them back.”

Coaches have been confirmed across all grades, with Alex Stuart and Andrew Burns returning as player-coaches of the men’s senior side and Graham Murray as coach of the League Tag side. 

Additionally, Scott Duncan and assistant coach Chris Whybrow will be taking control of the joint Under 16s side. 

While recruitment and playing numbers are still to be confirmed, Gay, was bullish on the prospect ahead of this week’s first formal session on January 20, saying a pre-Christmas meetup was a good harbinger of things to come.

“We had a huge roll up of players for that,” Gay said, adding that several players have contacted the club to offer their services for the coming season. 

While the signs are promising on-field, off-field is also increasingly stable, with the Courthouse Hotel re-committing to sponsor the club, and the recently redeveloped showgrounds meaning the club is able to host more events, including pre-season hitouts.

“We’re having a pre-season knockout on March the 23rd, featuring clubs from the George Tooke Shield,” Gay said, adding that other clubs from outside the competition. 

Gay was unconcerned about the travel loads associated with the Shield, which is a Canberra Region Rugby League competition.

“It’s a piece of cake, it’s a breeze,” Gay said, saying the loads were easy compared to the Woodbridge Cup. 

Irrespective of logistics, Gay said the club was excited for the coming year.

“We’ve got everything ordered, and all locked down and ready to go.”

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