Dragons fire up fan fever
FOOTY fever has hit local rugby league fans as they await tomorrow’s visit from NRL stars the St George Illawarra Dragons, as part of the NRL One Community’s Adopt-a-Club program.
Former local boy and football super coach Wayne Bennet yesterday spoke of the team’s enthusiasm prior to the visit.
“I feel that it is a great privilege for our club to be able to visit Warwick and assist and support the people who were affected by the floods,” said Bennett.
“Our club is putting in a lot of resources and looking to develop long-term programs to help the rugby league people and clubs in Warwick and we are all very much looking forward to the visit.”
In addition to an afternoon of coaching and meet and greets, several Dragons players will also be inspecting the town’s flood damage and visiting aged care facilities in the area.
Organiser Glen Whitton said the action-packed day is something that has never been seen before and has attracted massive interest among locals.
“It’s a big thing for the town and there are Warwick players coming on the day who used to play in the 40s and 50s,” he said.
The players and staff will venture to the Rose City to lend their support following the floods and Mr Whitton said the day will offer something for everyone.
“The coaching part is great but there will also be time for locals to have a chat with the players – it’s not just for those involved in NRL, it’s for the whole community,” he said.
A St George Illawarra Dragons jersey, a framed picture and the game ball from tonight’s Dragons v Broncos game – signed by Bennet and Dragons captain Ben Hornby – will be auctioned on the night.
Parking is limited so those hoping to secure parking on the grounds should get in early.
12.15pm: St George Illawarra Dragons players and staff arrive for luncheon and day organised by Warwick Cowboys together with junior clubs Eastern Suburbs and Collegians.
Welcome by Mayor Ron Bellingham and short addresses by Dragons coach Wayne Bennett, community manager Paul Everill and captain Ben Hornby.
1.30pm: Junior league skills super clinic (under 7 to U13) and coaching clinics (U14 to U16) with St George Illawarra players, development staff and local junior league coaches.
3pm: Start of senior football: Warwick v Oakey in U18.
4.15pm: Warwick v Oakey in reserve grade.
4.30pm: Dragons players, except Hornby, return to Brisbane to fly home. Fourteen of the Dragons contingent, mainly coaches and staff, stay for the rest of the day.
5.45pm: Warwick v Oakey in A grade.
7.15pm: Sportsman’s Function at Cowboys Clubhouse.
Interviews with Wayne Bennett, former international Wendell Sailor and Peter Doust (Dragons CEO).
Auction of autographed jerseys.