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Jersey celebration to highlight Murri team achievement

The emotion a player feels when presented with a representative jersey is a feeling unlike any other; it’s a mix of pride in their achievement and gratitude for the people who have helped them get to that point.

For Terell Anderson, whose older brother Damon previously played for the Queensland Murri Under 16 team, being told he had been selected in the side was pretty special, even though he missed out on hearing the news initially.

“It was pretty exciting (to find out),” Terell said. “But I was actually coming home from a training run with the Broncos; and my aunty actually called up and said ‘congratulations!’ and I was like ‘for what?’.

“She told me because I didn’t know, because I didn’t have service and my phone was flat (so I missed the calls).”

The Oakey Bears junior, who featured for Wynnum Manly Brothers in the Queensland Murri Carnival last year, said making the team was a great way to cap off a fun experience playing with his team mates.

“The team, I loved playing in the team with a few of the other boys from Oakey and there were a few boys from Cherbourg and Cunnamulla (as well), and it was real good playing with a bit of family,” Terell said.

“It was a really good environment at the carnival, I liked the atmosphere, it was very vibrant and seeing all the other teams representing where they come from was good.”

Unfortunately, COVID-19 removed the opportunity for the Queensland Murri Under 16 team to play their representative fixture this year.

Queensland Rugby League, in consultation with New South Wales Rugby League, The Arthur Beetson Foundation and the NRL, decided to cancel the 2020 camp and game in order to protect players, coaching staff and their families.  

However, Anderson and his fellow squad members will still be able to meet with each other and celebrate their selection in the side that was to face off against NSW Koori.

QRL female pathways and performance manager Mitch Constance said plans were being put in place to do a virtual jersey presentation to highlight their achievements later this year.

“Unfortunately, due to the onset of COVID-19, the camp and game was cancelled; we felt that the safety, health and wellbeing of the players and staff was of the upmost importance,” Constance said. 

“It is a significant game on the QRL calendar, and we know how much the game means to the players, their families and the communities, so the decision - although difficult - was the right one.

“We intend to conduct a virtual jersey presentation in the near future so that the players can receive the gear they would have received in camp.

“They will also have a memento to celebrate their journey through the Queensland Murri Carnival, the Possibles v Probables game that led to their eventual selection in the Queensland Murri Under 16 selection.

“It will indicate their commitment and resilience to make it through to the final squad.”

The jersey, designed by Elaine Chambers-Hegarty, incorporated elements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island culture as well as representing the connectedness of the players and their cultures.

While disappointed to not be playing this year, players such as Terell have been working hard to ensure they are maintaining the standards that helped them earn selection in the representative team, following the staging of last year’s Queensland Murri Carnival.

Above: Terell Anderson with brother Damon. Main image: Terell with Justin Hodges. Photos: supplied
Above: Terell Anderson with brother Damon. Main image: Terell with Justin Hodges. Photos: supplied

“I go to Oakey State High and school has been good this year... I have been keeping my attendance good and every Monday I do school-based traineeship with the Indigenous Rangers, which is good,” Terell said.

“It teaches you cultural burning, flora and fauna identification and searching for artefacts and stuff like that.”

Football-wise, Terell is currently recovering from an ankle injury, but is working hard to get his fitness back.

“(My goals this year are) probably just to keep fit and maintain being healthy,” Terell said.

“I have just been on and off trying to get some training in when I can, but it has been a lot of recovery stuff, trying to get my ankle good for next year’s carnival and next year’s footy.”

Queensland Murri Under 16 team

  Player Murri Carnival team Club
1. Timothy Sielaff-Burns    Bayside Brothers Ormeau Shearers
2. Kyetonn Boah Mackay Thunder Northern Suburbs JRLC
3. Kallum Stacey Bayside Brothers Aspley Devils
4. Elekana Suavai Cairns Crusaders Kangaroos JRLC
5. Frank Backo Townsville Blackstars Centrals ASA JRL
6. Terell Anderson Wynnum Manly Brothers Oakey JRL
7. Sean Howlett ABF Academy Logan Brothers
8. Damon Marshall Townsville Blackstars Brothers Townsville
9. Jesuah Wini Woorabinda Warriors Rockhampton Tigers
10. Connor Scorgie-Ross ABF Academy (RED) Redcliffe Dolphins
11. Hayden Lammon Bayside Brothers Burdekin JRLFC
12. James Kelleher Mackay Thunder Sarina JRLFC
13. Liam Kelley  Cairns Crusaders Edmonton JRLC
14. Gabriel Satrick Cairns Crusaders  Southern Suburbs JRL
15. Mutua Brown Wynnum Manly Brothers Northern Suburbs Ipswich Tigers
16. Elijah Brown Bayside Brothers Aspley Devils
17. Isaiah Pabai ABF Academy (RED) Logan Brothers
18. Jack McKenzie ABF Academy Runaway Bay Seagulls