THE Stroud Raiders Rugby League Football Club will play its first home game in almost two years this Saturday.
With the Stroud Showground out of play after the 2015 floods, the Raiders struggled for playing numbers and entered the season with a team comprising as many players in their forties as in their teens. Training was moved to Raymond Terrace and home games to Gloucester; the support of the Raymond Terrace and Gloucester Rugby League Clubs made the Raiders’ season possible.
This year however the club is back training at the Stroud Showground and have won their first three D-grade competition games.
This advertising feature is sponsored by the following business. Click the link to learn more:
Led by experienced co-captains Clint Osborne and Jason Power, the team comprises a core group from last year: Blaine O’Flaherty, outside backs Callum Lund, Jesse Clifton and Zak Morcom, and front-rowers Roy Watkins, Jake Melmeth and Johnno Hayward.
It has also been bolstered by several new-comers. Aaron “Skunky” Waters has returned after several seasons with Tea Gardens A-grade and brought with him Matt and Pat Page.
Other new faces include Daniel Forbes from Raymond Terrace, who has also represented Australia at Rugby League for the Hearing Impaired, forward Michael Skelly from the last year’s premiers Lakes United, and second-rowers Zak Allen, Johnny Garnham and Jack Alison.
The Raiders acknowledges the work of the management team headed by Brad “Darb” Wilmen and Noel Anderson and the training team of Ando “Angry” Anderson, Kent Dew, Terry Dew, Willie Grey and the evergreen player come strapper Dave “Tinman” Robinson.
The Raiders return home starts at 11am with two junior games as curtain raisers.
■ Coach: Brendan Mears
■ Ins: Matt Page, Pat Page, Daniel Forbes, Michael Skelly, Zak Allen, Johnny Garnham, Jack Alison.
■ Outs: Taco Tilse (knee reconstruction)
■ Finish last year: Fourth
■ Goal this year: Develop home grown talent, put Club in healthier position.