Yesterday's heroes still keen
PAUL Shatte first played against George McVeigh 40 odd years ago, today they are both in the Warwick and District Legends team to play St George-Illawarra Dragons at Father Ranger Oval at 5.15pm.
The game has been organised by the Warwick Cowboys, Dragons and Men of League in conjunction with junior clubs Collegians and Eastern Suburbs.
Shatte, 47, first came up against McVeigh in Stanthorpe junior games against Collegians.
They came face-to-face in the Warwick and District St George Cup competition and, from 1986, in the Toowoomba Rugby League competition after the Stanthorpe Gremlins and Warwick Cowboys were admitted to the TRL.
Now, 25 years on, they are still involved with the same clubs, Shatte as a water runner for the Gremlins and McVeigh as A-grade coach for the Cowboys.
“It will be good to catch up with players from down the years and play against the NRL players,” Shatte said.
As for any lasting memories of his match-ups with McVeigh, Shatte can only remember a bit of push and shove but no fights.
“We always respected each other.”
Shatte said the possibility of injury was a bit of a concern but he was excited to play.
“I have been running a couple of kilometres a day, doing a few weights and working on the exercise bike.
“I want to test my speed against (Test winger) Rod Wishart,” Shatte said with a smile.
Tenterfield player Dave Landers, 46, will be no stranger to Father Ranger Oval; he is a regular at Cowboys home games as son Jake plays for the Cowboys in under 18 and sometimes A grade.
“I played for Tenterfield in the St George Cup in 1984,” he said.
As for who he is excited to be playing against, Landers nominates Dragons Legends captain David Barnhill.
“I respect him because he was such a hard worker on the field,” Landers said.
After winning a Daily News Border Rugby League Player of the Year award as a five-eighth, Texas player Lee Schwenke is in the front row a decade later.
He played in the Texas A-grade grand final victory at Tenterfield last September and is one a handful of Warwick and District players with some game experience in the past three years.
The Warwick and District Legends trained on Wednesday night, the passing was slick, there was hardly a knock-on and Cameron Hamblin was still finding touch with kicks in general play.
The major difference was they looked a bit older than in their heyday and the vehicles in a car park at Father Ranger Oval were a lot newer than the ones they drove to training in their 20s.