Seagulls will fly: QRL committed to team's survival
LEAGUE: Hervey Bay Seagulls will fly next year after an eleventh hour bailout from the Queensland Rugby League.
Registrations for junior and senior players are expected to open today after officials from the QRL's Central Division promised to help the Hervey Bay rugby league overcome its six-figure debt.
Central Division chairman Danny McGuire and division manager Rob Crow were in Hervey Bay this week to meet with the Seagulls and council CEO Ken Diehm.
McGuire told the Chronicle the QRL would help the Seagulls clear its debt with local creditors, and would work with the club to ensure financial issues would not stop the Seagulls from playing next year.
The Chronicle last week revealed the extent of the Seagulls' plight, which threatened to ground the club next year.
The Chronicle revealed officials from the Seagulls, BRL and QRL's Central Division met at Seagulls headquarters on Monday to hold crisis talks.
Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour, Mr Diehm and Cr Stuart Taylor, who is currently the Football Queensland Wide Bay president and sitting Division 9 councillor, also attended. Cr Seymour called on the community to support the Seagulls, through participation as members, volunteers and sponsors.
Seagulls captain Steve Dwyer and players have not stopped training and will be ready to play.
Bundaberg Rugby League chairman Mike Ireland said the board was prepared to wait until its January meeting before a decision was made about the club's participation.
With the QRL's commitment, player numbers is all that will stop the Seagulls.
Hervey Bay president Jim Russell, who tomorrow will mark one month in the role since taking over from Brendan Bowers, said he was encouraged by the QRL's pledge.
"It's a very positive step," Russell said. "It means we will be able to open registrations.
"It's been a hectic month but the community support throughout all of this has been phenomenal."
Keep an eye on the Hervey Bay RSL Seagulls Rugby League Facebook page for registration information.