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Every Monday morning, Mitch Brennan has a number of locals pop into his pub, the Miriam Vale Hotel, to talk footy.

He only moved to the rural town, south of Gladstone, in 2016 but he knew straight away that rugby league held a special place in the lives of many in Miriam Vale.

That’s why delivering the town a premiership last month, in their 100th year of rugby league, was such an incredible achievement.

Brennan (pictured in the main image) is coach of the Magpies' A grade team, which triumphed 34-24 over the South Kolan Sharks in the grand final on August 14.

On Saturday, August 20, the club also celebrated 100 years, naming a Team of the Century at a dinner of which over 200 people attended.

Miriam Vale's player of the year, Jesse Wyngaards, at the club's 100-year celebrations with Gary Larson and Billy Moore.
Miriam Vale's player of the year, Jesse Wyngaards, at the club's 100-year celebrations with Gary Larson and Billy Moore.

Brennan said the combination of the two had meant a lot to the townspeople.

“It was a great night… everybody has been excited for it,” he said of the 100-year celebrations.

“It’s a really big rugby league town. It’s all they talk about through football season. Everyone comes to the pub on a Monday morning to see how the boys went on the weekend.

“We were wooden spooners last year so to go from last to premiership winners was fantastic.

“We had an influx of a lot of younger players this year which was great and a good mix of the older boys that have played before.

“I moved to town in 2016 and bought the pub. I’ve coached them ever since, except for the COVID year.

“I’ve been to two grand finals in six years and won two out of two (2018 and 2022).

“As soon as I moved here, I realised the local footy side played a major part in the town. I built on that and tried to continue it going and it’s been great.”

Present at the club’s 100-year event were former Magpie and Queensland Maroons great, Gary Larson, as well as rugby league icon Billy Moore.

The club also unveiled the Team of the Century.

Brennan said he used Larson and Moore’s impending arrival as motivation for his team in their race to the premiership.

“We spoke about that pretty well from the start of the season,” Brennan said.

“We knew Gary Larson would be on board, being an old Magpies boy himself, and Billy Moore was a big drawcard for me as coach.

“I used them as inspiration. I said, ‘they’ll be there to hand out the jerseys and trophies, wouldn’t it be good to do that as a premiership-winning team?’.

“They really responded to that.”

Miriam Vale Magpies Team of the Century

1. Ross Dahl

2. Steven Blomfield

3. Mark Walker

4. Ryan Walker

5. Greg Larson

6. Darryl Lester (c)

7. Stephen Walker

8. Ron Ferguson

9. Ron Stephenson

10. Glenn Cox

11. Aaron Causton

12. Ray Crawford

13. Ellis Dahl

14. Gary Turner

15. Chris Larson

16. Willie Ervine

17. Rodger Williams

18. Matthew Fennel

19. Stephen Plunkett


Darren Wildman

Team manager

Gary Cox

Club persons

Owen Harms and Dell Bayliss

Acknowledgement of Country

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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