THE Port Macquarie Sharks Rugby League Football Club will unveil a new playing strip in 2008.
Group 2 officials gave the innovative uniform the “green light” at Sunday’s annual general meeting at Nambucca Heads.
The club’s jumper, shorts and socks have been given a face lift but the organisation will continue to be known as the Port Macquarie Sharks.
Two other major decisions arose from Sunday’s gathering – the formation of another team and a change in playing times, which affects the under 18 and reserve grade competitions.
The Dungutti Broncos Rugby League Football Club, who at this stage will play out of Smithtown, becomes the 10th side in Group 2.
Their application, after years of trying to get a run, was voted in at the annual general meeting by the current clubs – ensuring there are no byes in 2008.
And, in a major bid to improve the game and get the crowds back, the under 18s will be the curtain-raiser to the first grade matches next season.
Reserve grade will kick off proceedings, followed by the juniors and then the seniors.
“The two big issues to come out of the AGM were the inclusion of the Dungutti Broncos in the competition and the under 18s being given curtain-raiser status to the first grade in 2008,” Sharks’ football operations manager Les Murphy told the Port News.
“Dungutti’s presentation to Group 2 and the current clubs, by former Macksville captain-coach Paul Davis, who will coach the Broncos, was very impressive.
“While a few clubs asked a number of questions about their quest, in the end they got the nod and become the 10th team in the region.
“The elevation of the under 18s to play prior to first grade next year was also tabled at length.
“It was decided to go with the motion moved by Group 2 treasurer Jim Anderson.
“Declining gates and the belief the game needs a shot in the arm led to the judgement – and only time will tell if it is the right decision.”
Meanwhile, most of the Group 2 clubs have re-appointed their current first grade coaches.
Aaron Dyett will oversee Coffs Harbour, Max McGovern is in charge of premiers Macksville, Mark Morrison has the job at Macleay Valley, Darryl Fisher remains the mentor at Orara Valley and Craig Wallace guides Sawtell’s fortunes again.
Woolgoolga boasts a new non-playing coach in Darren Leaney, Bellingen has signed former Orara Valley junior and ex-Souths player Troy Robinson as captain-coach, and Port Macquarie is turning to life members Josh Mann and Kristian Murphy in joint roles.
Nambucca Heads is yet to appoint a coach for next year.
On the local scene, the Port Macquarie Sharks will start pre-season training on Monday, November 26, at Flynns Beach from 5.30pm for a 6pm start.