Innisfail Brothers Juniors celebrate season at awards

Innisfail Brothers Junior Rugby League celebrated a hugely successful year of achievements at their awards presentation held recently at Callendar Park.

The club has experienced exceptional growth in all age groups with a 34 per cent increase in player membership.

Non-competitive numbers increased which enabled two Under 6, Under 8 and Under 11 teams.

There were three Under 10 teams and one Under 12 team and healthy numbers which the club hopes to increase next season.

In the competitive age groups, we have fielded sides in all age groups.

A combined Under 14 Southern Cyclones girls team were undefeated and went on to win the grand final, while the Under 17 girls team finished as runners up to Tully in their grand final.

Under 15 and Under 16 boys teams put in strong performances throughout the year, while the Under 14 team fought their way to the semi finals, which was an outstanding achievement given the amount of injuries.

Their Under 13 team was exceptional throughout the year to finish the season undefeated and claimed their maiden premiership after a 28-10 grand final win against Redlynch.

Various teams competed in Gorden Tallis Cup, Laurie Spina Shield and Warren Pitt Cup carnivals.

Coach Chris Tew with Innisfail Brothers Under 8 team. Photo: Maria Girgenti
Coach Chris Tew with Innisfail Brothers Under 8 team. Photo: Maria Girgenti

These carnivals have provided the youngsters with a great opportunity to play footy with their mates against other teams from across the state.

Through the season, there was great representation from the club in North Queensland Country Champions and North Queensland Championships.

Nine young players (male and female) were selected in the North Queensland Marlins teams.

Innisfail Brothers Juniors club was also recognised as part of the NRL State of Mind Grassroots Program which aims to reduce stigma around mental ill health, increase mental health literacy and stimulate help seeking behaviour.

Volunteer numbers in coaching staff, sports trainers, and junior referees have shown positive increases.

The club wished to thank Innisfail Leprechauns players, coaching staff and board, for their support and are looking forward to their continued support in 2020.

President Troy Cooper also wished to thank all the club's sponsors, coaches, coaching staff, committee, referees and volunteers for their hard work this season.

He also made special mention to all team coaches: Michael Ely (Under 6), Chris Tew (Under 8), Graham Anderson, Ryan Daniels and Joshua Balderson (Under 10), Nathan Wone (Under 11), Brodie Clubb (Under 12), William Cunningham and Troy Cooper (Under 13), Paul Ketchell (Under 14), Jade Clayton-Payne (Under 15), Damien King (Under 16), Mike Davies (Under 14 Girls), Troy Cooper assisted by Lisa Sue San (Under 17 Girls).

The club were expressed their appreciation to CDJRL, QRL and NRL for their continued support throughout the season and look forward to a close working relationship next season.

Players from Under 6 to Under 12 who received Encouragement Awards for being a team player, positive attitude at training and displaying good sportsmanship were: Daniel Edwards (Under 6), Casey Barrese (Under 8), Tayla Grimshaw (Under 10), Ryan Millard (Under 11) and Ben Walker (Under 12).

Award winners were as follows:

Under 13

Best Back: Jayden Wahlin 

Best Forward: Tureti Ryder

Team Player: Cameron Anderson 

Most Improved: Blake Wells

Player of the Year: Xapheniah Tanner

Under 14

Best Forward: Jack Lodge 

Best Back: Harrison Day 

Team Player: Jason Hallie 

Most Improved: Mitchell Forrest

Player of the Year: Issac Stagg

Under 15 Boys 

Best Forward: Abraham Waireg-Ingui

Best Back: Caleb Harte

Team Player: Jeramiah Callope

Most Improved: Ezekiel Stavrou

Player of the Year: Jordan Sneath

Under 16 Boys

Best Back: Cooper Beasley

Best Forward: Bevan Orenshaw

Team Player: Thomas King 

Most Improved: Josiah Forbes

Player of the Year: Jake Smith

Under 17 Girls

Best Forward: Kayla Taputoa

Best Back: Bonnie Ryder

Team Player: Keisha Jose

Most Improved: Sheneals Biehler

Player of the Year: Bonnie Ryder

Under 14 Girls

Best Forward: Shanequa Wiremu-Taha 

Best Back: Gracie Delta 

Team Player: Jessy Johnston

Most Improved: Eloise Burton 

Player of the Year: Kimberly Bryant 

Main image: Coach Michael Ely with Innisfail Brothers Under 6 team. Photo: Maria Girgenti