By Vince Habermann

QUEENSLAND Rangers captain of the last four years, Mat Templeman, will step up to also take the A Grade coaching reins as Brothers attempt to put a disappointing season in the Bundaberg Rugby League in 2014 behind them and reclaim the title next year.

The 30-year-old, who is currently enjoying a short overseas holiday, will take to the field for the first time as captain/coach in the club’s rich Nine-a-Side Knockout Cup at Brothers Sports Club on Saturday, February 21.

This year, Brothers led the ladder up until June but the wheels fell off badly over the last six weeks of fixtures. Still, they limped home in second position on a congested final table but were then knocked out in straight sets with losses to Easts Magpies and Isis Devils in the qualifying and minor semi-finals respectively.

Brothers completed a hat-trick of A Grade premierships and their fourth title in five years in 2012, but they suffered a shock defeat in the 2013 decider at the hands of Wests Panthers, who went on to successfully defend the crown.

Club president Dean Holdsworth said the committee is delighted to have someone of Templeman’s calibre in charge as they begin their fightback.

The former Queensland Cup winning player with Souths Logan Magpies and many times match winner is also very keen to lead the club back to their glory days and has already received interest in returning to the fold from a few former club stars.

Official training will start on January 6 but the club will have a Sign-on at Brothers Sports Club on Saturday, December 13 from 2pm, when they will also conduct fund-raiser for popular young former player Peter Mark, who has returned home to England, where he awaits major surgery for a kidney and liver transplant at a cost of around $200,000.

Templeman will put his players through a beach training session on Saturday, December 20, before they enjoy a BBQ and some Christmas cheer.

Geteno George has retained the job as coach of their Reserve grade, while Bryce Holdsworth will take the under-18 reins, and Glenn Darby will again be at the helm as their women chase five straight titles.

The Nines Knock-out Cup is open to all registered rugby league clubs in Australia and excitement is already building with $5,000 up for grabs in the men’s division subject to team entries, with an anticipated $2,500 to the winner, $1,500 to the runner-up and $500 each losing semi-finalists, and $2,000 for the women to be distributed $1,000 for the winners, $500 for runners-up and $250 for the losing semi-finalists.

Nomination fee is $300 for the men’s division and $200 for the women’s, with payment due by 6th February and 20 being the maximum number of teams which will be accepted in each.

To enter or for more information, phone club secretary Wendy Cross on 4153 3986 (business hours) of 0487 340684 or email sportsadmin@brotherssportsclub.com or Dean Holdsworth on 0404 272036.