Blackcats put up a fight

RUGBY LEAGUE

THE Blackheath Blackcats will not go down without a fight.

After just two seasons in the Group 10 competition the Blackcats were told there was no place for them in season 2014, following Group 10’s annual general meeting (AGM).

Blackheath was set to enter reserve grade, under 18s and women’s league tag teams next year.

Group 10 president Linore Zamparini explained if teams were unable to field a premier league team, they were ineligible for season 2014.

“Blackheath were told if they couldn’t enter a side in all grades they wouldn’t be in Group 10,” he said.

Blackheath president Wayne Morgan was livid after being told of the decision, and said an appeal was in motion.

“Our appeal is currently with Terry Quinn [NSW Country Rugby League chief executive],” he said.

“Unfortunately I was overseas and couldn’t go to the Group 10 AGM. Our vice president also couldn’t go so we weren’t represented. And it was at that meeting they [Group 10] decided to give us the punt. We entered the competition two years ago and they knew we were a work in progress. 

“The ultimate goal is to enter a premier league team, and that could happen in the next two years or so. But kicking us out isn’t going to help.”

Zamparini said the main reasons for Blackheath’s expulsion was their inferior ground facilities and the disruption the premier league bye caused other clubs and their gate takings.

Morgan argued both points.

“All the reasons we were given were already in the process of being fixed,” he said.

“Our dressing sheds are in the process of being revamped and the council will help on that. There is a concrete cricket pitch in the middle of the field, but it has never been an issue before, and is very well covered during the football season. 

“It does create a bye in premier league, but, as I said, if we can eventually enter a team in the top grade that problem is sorted.

“We have more than enough players to fill three teams. Us and Katoomba are very competitive with players. If we can’t play footy we’ll lose all of them and probably never get them back.

“It seems like they [Group 10] just decided to kick us out at the AGM and that was it.”

Despite the current situation, and not being included in the draft draw, Morgan is confident of reinstatement.

“As I said, the appeal is currently with Terry Quinn,” he said. 

“But we’re very confident of being put back in. We’ve basically been told to go ahead and order our jerseys for the competition.”

matthew.findlay@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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