Early kick-off to 'exciting' Group 10 season

THERE will be more on offer for Group 10 players and fans next year with the 2013 season kicking off in early April.

The inclusion of Blayney and Blackheath into premier league next year will boost the top grade to 10 teams.

To accommodate a full two rounds, the season needs to start earlier.

On top of this, Group 10 will have an extra general bye in 2013 to allow for the Western Rams’ return to the AAMI Country Rugby League Tier 1 Championship.

The plan is for the season to start on April 7, three weeks earlier than this year.

“It will be two rounds and I think we’ll finish on the second or third Sunday in September,” Group 10 secretary Peter McDonald explained.

“It is a long season but no doubt it’s going to be full of excitement. I do expect a bumper season for Group 10.”

McDonald said numbers for all three grades (premier league, first division and under 18s) were still being finalised but they all looked to be growing.

“At this stage Blayney and Blackheath will definitely have first grade sides and definitely have under 18s sides but whether they’ll have the numbers to fill reserve grade sides is the other matter,” McDonald said.

“But waiting in the wings to fill one of those voids is one of the CSU sides. It’ll work out well. We’ve got to upset some people to get a bit of growth in the Group.”

Group 10 president Linore Zamparini is delighted with the earlier starting date.

“I think that’s a good move,” Zamparini said.

“There was talk way back last year that it should start earlier than we’re going to purely for the spectators because of daylight savings.”

The earlier start date means no formal pre-season competition will be organised and clubs will have to arrange their own trial games.

McDonald said the Group would hopefully be able to finalise numbers for the 2013 season next week.

There will also be changes made to the Group 10 representative season. 

Lithgow’s premiership-winning coach Graeme Osborne will coach the Group 10 senior side, replacing Dave Elvy.

“Graeme’s got the runs on the board over the last couple of years,” McDonald said.

“The clubs were just a bit disappointed in Group 10’s results in the last couple of years, so we’ve gone for a bit of a change.

“We’re expecting an improved performance from Group 10.”

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