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Moree Boars looking forward to 2021 paddock return

MOREE Boars president Todd Mitchell reckons the Covid-19 pandemic might have done his rugby league football club a favour.

While he and the Boars players would have loved to have played football this year in an exciting return to Group 4 Rugby League he understands the problems the pandemic has placed – financially, health-wise and morally – on all the Group 4 clubs.

Playing without crowds, restrictions on sponsors, health protocols for club supporters, players and workers with heavy penalties for infractions, made it impractical for clubs to play.

The prospect of anyone becoming infected with the virus also weighs heavily and one must be thinking North Tamworth Bears might be treading a torturous path by bussing their Under 18s down to a Newcastle competition.

That there have been outbreaks of the pandemic in and around Newcastle makes it a massive decision fraught with danger.

For Todd Mitchell the decision not to play this year was “disappointing”.

Moree Boars president Todd Mitchell is sitting out the 2020 league season but says his club will be back bigger and better than ever in 2021 (Image: Bill Poulos).

“Yeah, we are all disappointed we can’t play football,” Mitchell said.

“But we are looking forward to next year. It’s given us a bit of a blow to refresh ourselves.”

The Boars have also received a large grant to build a new clubhouse at Boughton Oval.

Mitchell estimates the new clubhouse will cost around $700,000.

A $370,000 grant back in March provided more than half and the club has been saving as well to ensure they erect a new home.

“We’ve worked real hard the last six years to save money,” he said.

“We’ve got 80 per cent.”

The Boars will have a small fence to erect around the ground and Mitchell thanked Peter Hobday for being instrumental in a lot of the work earlier in the piece when the oval was being developed in to a Rugby League Oval.

The new fence will also enable sponsorship signage.

“Having the year off has given us the chance to do a lot of things. We are disappointed for the players but we will be even better next year,” Mitchell said.

“Matt (Ryan) will coach again I’m pretty sure. Our move to Group 4 is a good thing too and we’ve got good coaches like Mark McGrady and Alex Barker for the lower grades.”

The Boars will have first, second and under-18 men’s grades in 2021 as well as a Ladies League Tag.

Major sponsors, Sundown Pastoral Company and Moree Services Club, have also been great supporters over a number of years.

“When we get the new clubhouse built it’s going to be fantastic for us,” Mitchell said.

Words: Geoff Newling

Image: Bill Poulos