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Everything was just starting to look normal again for Maryborough Brothers Rugby League club.

It was late January when the town was hit by a devastating flood, leaving the field at the corner of Ann and Guava streets covered in thick, immovable layers of mud.

It took three weeks for Brothers to get back on track, with club chairman and under 13s coach Tony Putman working late into the night, mowing in the dark to bring back normality for their kids.

The teams were just hitting their straps and training at full force, when suddenly, they copped their second round of flooding in six weeks.

To say it was shattering is an understatement.

The Maryborough Brothers clubhouse underwater.
The Maryborough Brothers clubhouse underwater.

“It’s more heartbreaking than anything,” Putman said.

“We’ve got to do it all over again… we have to come back down and relive the nightmare.

“All my volunteers and myself, we took time off work the first time to get back on track. Now we have to do it again. It will take a big effort to clean it up.

“But we have cleaned it up once so we will clean it up again.”

Maryborough's fences collapsed under the weight of the floodwaters. Photo: Bryce Holdsworth
Maryborough's fences collapsed under the weight of the floodwaters. Photo: Bryce Holdsworth

Putman is hopeful the club will be back up and running within two weeks but said they also had received support from the Fraser Coast Rugby League to use their fields for free in the meantime.

This time around the club had more warning to save as much equipment as possible before they were inundated.

And this time around the mud wasn’t as thick – the current was so strong it pushed most of it on.

However, that powerful current also flattened the majority of the club’s fencing, as well as the gates that they had saved for through grant money.

But one thing that is definitely working in Brothers’ favour is the community’s support and spirit.

Putman has been with the club for seven years since his son signed up to play in under 6s.

At the time he believed he would just be a “footy dad” but he was warned that once he stepped into the Brothers clubhouse, he would be sucked into the culture and “give up his life”.

He laughed it off at the time, but now as the chairman and the person overseeing yet another rebuilding phase, he knows it’s the truth.

Volunteers Marty, Paul, Callum, Tamara, Graham and Gary help Maryborough rebuild yet again. Photo: Bryce Holdsworth
Volunteers Marty, Paul, Callum, Tamara, Graham and Gary help Maryborough rebuild yet again. Photo: Bryce Holdsworth

“The community has been really good,” Putman said.

“We have some volunteers here and I don’t even know who they are. There’s a guy here with a broom and a squeegee that I’ve never seen before.

“It will be a joint effort again but it just shows the Brothers spirit will always go on.

“Our spirit in this club … we’re family oriented and we don’t just say that. It’s been here for years and years, before I even got here.

“Once you get in playing for us, you never really leave.

“I’m proud to be here … It’s outstanding help. It’s just unbelievable.”

With a number of clubs starting to get back on their feet, the Active Queenslanders Industry Alliance will host a free flood recovery webinar on Tuesday, March 8 from 6.30pm, which will cover fundraising, grants, how to rebuild fields and more.

Register here.

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Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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