Redbacks call for support

FORMER Redbacks AFL football operations manager Colin Pope has challenged his fellow club members to be “more hands on the job” in supporting the club.

“The club needs more support than it is currently getting,” Pope said.

On Sunday, Pope did not stand again for the club committee but his dedication to the club and sport in Warwick is as strong as ever hence his decision to speak out about the future of the sport.

“The bottom line is support is needed at working bees to have the new home ground ready for the season. This is the future of the club,” he said.

“Plenty want to see it happen, plenty want to play on it or have their children play on it, but apparently not too many are prepared to do anything about it.”

In 2010, the Redbacks played senior and junior home games at Slade Park.

Pope said there was desperation for the Redbacks to have the new ground ready for the start of the 2011 season.

“The AFL Darling Downs season commences in March and the Warwick Cricket Association needs to do some very long overdue maintenance to Slade Park in their upcoming off-season,” Pope said.

“This work renders the ground in a non-usable state for AFL.

“If the new ground is not ready, this adds up to a season of away games every week for all age groups; 18 weeks on the road.

“The juniors’ parents are not going to put up with that and neither will the senior squad of players.

“Choices are, go to another code and completely shut down the AFL club that has worked at keeping the sport on the ground in Warwick since 1996, or give something back to the club that has given so much time and money to those that wish to be a part of a great sport.”

The next Redbacks working bee at the new grounds at St Mark’s Oval is on Sunday at 8.30am.

Anybody, member or non-member, who can share an hour or two are asked to arm themselves with wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes and a load of enthusiasm to help out.

“It would be truly appreciated and take a load off the too few that are always in attendance,” Pope said.

“All players are expected to be there in a show of strength.

“I say to them it is time to start giving something back or pretty soon there may not be a club for you to give something back to.” The ground is at the eastern end of Jackie Howe Drive next to Collegians juniors.

A barbecue will be arranged for all helpers on the day.

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