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Wynnum Manly Seagulls excited for new opportunity

The Wynnum Manly Seagulls will get their first official taste of what the Harvey Norman Under 19 competition is all about when they travel to take on Souths Logan Magpies this Sunday.

The side enjoyed some good trials, including a match against Sunshine Coast Falcons which was staged as a curtain-raiser to the Seagulls v Brisbane Broncos pre-season match; but this Sunday’s match-up will be the team’s first outing of the season after having a bye in Round 1.

The club celebrated the inclusion of their team into the statewide girls competition at their season launch, which was accompanied the announcement of the Seagulls women’s program.

Seagulls legend and two-time Brisbane Rugby League A Grade premiership winning coach Ron Troutman has been appointed head coach of the Seagulls Harvey Norman Women’s Under 19s side and said he believed the upcoming season would be an important step towards long-term success.

“The progression that the girls have made over the past three months has been outstanding,” Troutman said.

“The skill level that the girls have shown through the trials will create an exciting brand of football in the up and coming round games.”

Jacy Carter, Jayda Lofipo and Sierra Maple at the 2021 Season Launch. Photo: Jim O’Reilly
Jacy Carter, Jayda Lofipo and Sierra Maple at the 2021 Season Launch. Photo: Jim O’Reilly

Overseeing the Seagulls women’s program is the newly installed head of Seagulls academy Michael Dobson, who has taken over from Glen Dreger who helped set up the Harvey Norman Women’s Under 19s program for the club and has now taken up a role with the Brisbane Broncos.

Seagulls CEO Hanan Laban said he was pleased his club was able to offer a new pathway for aspiring female players.

“The Wynnum Manly Seagulls football club is community focussed and it is important that our programs are representative of all people in our community,” Laban said.

“We are very proud to now be able to offer a pathway not just for aspiring male athletes in our local communities, but also the aspiring female players who dream of playing in the BHP Premiership or NRLW competitions.

“The club is putting a strong investment into our Seagulls women’s program and we are looking forward to growing opportunities and pathways for young female players.”

This weekend, the team will test themselves against the Magpies who will also be excited to play in their first official game in the new competition after also having a bye in Round 1.

Last weekend’s opening match of the competition saw Mackay Cutters prove far too strong for Townsville Blackhawks, with home-side halfback Emily Bella playing up a storm to be the Round 1 weapon of the week.

'What a weapon!' - Emily Bella

Round 2 matches will kick off on Saturday with Western Mustangs hosting Central Queensland Capras at Wandoan at 2.30pm.

Sunshine Coast Falcons and Wide Bay Bulls will also play on Saturday at 2.30pm at Kawana Sports Precinct, while later that afternoon Northern Pride will be at home to Townsville Blackhawks at 4pm.

The final match of Saturday afternoon will be at North Ipswich Reserve with Ipswich hosting Burleigh Bears.

This weekend, both Mackay Cutters and West Brisbane Panthers have the bye.