‘Back-to-back’ beckons for success-hungry Redmen
Seven years of alternating grand final wins and losses has finally gotten old for the Mackay City Redmen.
The reigning Mackay District Rugby Union premiers have set the lofty goal of going back-to-back in 2021 after almost a decade of stumbling at the final hurdle.
The Redmen’s 2020 triumph – a 38-22 win over the Bowen Mudcrabs – was the first step in a two-year plan which includes taking out the 2021 flag.
It is that desire to make history that has brought the club’s core group of players back for an earlier than usual start to the year.
“We’ve been training together for the past couple of weeks now as a team again,” vice-captain Bronson Barnett said.
“We had a big chat last year, after winning and having our festivities and whatnot. When we came together we all said we want to go back-to-back.”
The third-year Mackay City flanker, who joined the club for its 2018 premiership success and was again part of the winning side last year, said a positive culture shift at the club had made the goal much more attainable in the players’ eyes.
“We’ve never gone back-to-back,” Barnett said.
“But with the culture we had at the end of last year, everyone is keen to play in that type of environment again – you can feel everyone is keen. I think that will make a big difference for us.”
Barnett said the club had said goodbye to some of its 2020 starters, who had made the switch to rugby league, but he was confident the Redmen would still have a quality side ready to contend for another MDRU title.
“I’m eager to know how the other clubs are going, but I haven’t heard much as of yet,” he said.
“I think we’re off to a great start – much better than last year anyway.
“From the faces I’ve seen (at training) we should have a pretty solid squad this year.”