Club of the Year Tathra look to top off stellar year

Updated: September 12, 2019
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Photo courtesy of Peter Sheales Footy Photos

CRL’s Club of the Year, the Tathra Sea Eagles will look to take out the Group 16 First Grade Premiership for the first time in 66 years, just one year after being hit by a major bushfire that destroyed over 70 homes.

Group 16 President Allan Wilton is looking forward to Sunday’s match-up between the Sea Eagles and the Bega Roosters and says the strength the community gained from the bushfire was inspiring.

“It has been an extraordinary year for Tathra and it will be a great fairy-tale story if they win,” Wilton said.

“There is no sporting rivalry on the Far South Coast quite like Bega and Tathra – it is like the Sydney Roosters and Rabbitohs rivalry, so everyone is looking forward to a fantastic game.”

There has been plenty of interest around town about Sunday’s game and Sea Eagles President Peter Finucane says he is very proud of the club’s accomplishments this season.

“We’re jumping out of our skin; the town is buzzing,” Finucane said.

“To win the premiership, it would top off the perfect season really.

“We were just hoping to make the Semi-Finals but we were the first team into the Grand Final.

“We’re just trying to keep if fairly low key, not get too excited about things and get overawed.”

The Club was presented with the CRL Club of the Year Award at the Holiday Inn on August 24 and Finucane says this provided extra motivation for the team to succeed.

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“We got there just in time to watch the Semi-Final before our boys ran on.

“We took the trophy in and showed them everything and that got them really fired up.

“They won’t need much motivation on Sunday though, it’s the local derby; we’re about the closest two towns in the competition distance wise.

“There’s a few players from our side that have played for Bega and players on their side that have played for Tathra, so there’s a fair bit of pride in it.”

When Tathra was starting to rebuild after the fires there was an influx of construction and trade jobs that boosted employment in the area.

This enabled many young people that had moved away to return home because they could find work and Finanace says having the numbers to field First Grade, Reserve Grade and League Tag teams this season has been a welcome boost for the town.

“The majority of the First Grade players are our local juniors, so a couple of them played in our last premiership for the Under-18’s in 2008.

“They’re about the only ones out of local boys that have actually ever won a Grand Final.

“We’ve got a few of our guys back on board this year who weren’t playing and it brought a lot of guys back playing footy, so it’s been really good in that respect.

“Our Under-16’s won their Grand Final last weekend as well, so that’s great for us for the future.

“That will make up half our Under-18’s side for next year; we haven’t had an Under-18’s side for some years either, so it’s a really good sign for us to keep going.”

The Bega Roosters v Tathra Sea Eagles First Grade Grand Final will take place at Bega Recreational Ground on Sunday, 15th September and will kick-off at 2:45pm.

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