The Cobar Roosters will join the Castlereagh Rugby League competition in 2018.
Some lengthy discussion on the matter took place at a general meeting of the Castlereagh clubs at Gilgandra on Sunday to hear Cobar’s application.
This wasn’t the first time the Roosters had applied to enter the Christie and Hood Castlereagh Rugby League competition, with a similar application being heard at the Castlereagh AGM last November.
At that time the Castlereagh clubs voted no, and turned the Roosters away, albeit by a very narrow margin.
At the request of the Western Rams, Cobar’s application was again heard at a Castlereagh meeting on Sunday and again it was a close call for the Roosters, but this time in their favour.
Perhaps the fact that the once proud Warren Bulldogs will not be forming in any grades this year helped the Rooster’s cause, however this time Cobar presented a strong case for inclusion.
And while it will obviously be a big travel burden in terms of time and money for the more easterly located Castlereagh clubs, the Roosters are prepared to take the long trek every second week with their three grades.
Cobar Roosters president Chris Deighton was ecstatic with the decision and said within an hour after the meeting he had already received over 100 enquiries from Cobar supporters as to the outcome of the Rooster’s application.
“The club will have four or five players come back this season who weren’t going to play this year with Barwon,” Deighton said.
“We’ll also get a lot of the old fellas back to watch the games now that it won’t be a dry comp,” Deighton said.
He said when they went to the first Castlereagh meeting it seemed like a lot of clubs had already made up their minds not to allow Cobar to enter.
“We also spoke about of how the move would benefit us.”
Deighton said the club changed its tactics with their presentation to the second meeting.
“We went in this time with how the league will benefit from having us in it,” he explained.
“Having Cobar will increase the referees pool as we’ve got a few refs keen to step up to Level 2 and we’ll also consistently field three teams,” Deighton assured the Castlereagh League meeting representatives.
He said Cobar won the vote 11-8 and after the meeting Deighton said he had some good conversations with representatives from most of the other Castlereagh clubs.
While he expects the competition will be stronger in the Castlereagh League than whey they came up against playing in Barwon, and there will be more travelling involved (on average a 420km round trip), Deighton believes the competition will be of a more professional standard.
He hopes the move will bring back the fans to the Roosters home games which will help out the club financially.
The competition kicks off mid-April with Cobar’s first game against Gulgong at Gulgong.