FRESH off recently being announced Queensland Rugby League’s Grassroots Club of the Year, the Atherton Roosters will have the next few months before the upcoming season to reflect on what was an extremely successful 2019.
All four senior grades made the finals in their respective competitions, and while they weren’t able to come away with any silverware, the depth and consistency each team displayed throughout the year speaks volumes about the wonderful personnel and structures that exist within the club.
One such individual who has been the backbone of the Atherton Roosters is their secretary and treasurer Darryl Day, whose work in promoting the club, garnering sponsorship and extensive involvement in the overall operation of the Roosters for more than 40 years is unparalleled in the Cairns District Rugby League competition.
Day said it’s the enormous work put in behind the scenes that has enabled the Roosters to experience such success in 2019.
“A large part of the credit has to go to the coaches,” he said.
“They have to deal with a lot of problems that people don’t see and the way all of our senior coaches were able to keep the teams together during this year was fantastic.”
Day said their accomplishments this year on the park points to a significant culture shift at the club in recent years.
“It all started when we hit the milestone last year – I believe we were the first club in Queensland to reach 100 years,” he said.
“In addition, we employed Graham Clark Snr as our AGrade coach last year and he brought a degree of stability and a playing group that the club hadn’t seen in quite some time.
“Since Graham has been the coach, he has instilled a level of discipline and pride in the Roosters jumper that has filtered right through the club and that has made for a much greater culture.
“Because of that culture shift there are so many more people who want to play for the Roosters so I can only see it improving as time goes on.”
Day noted that a major goal for the club this season was to get Reserve Grade back into the finals, a grade which has struggled in past years.
“That was a big emphasis for us and we’re really pleased to have achieved that,” he said.
“Trent did a great job as a player-coach and we’re confident that he’s keen to come back on board for next season which is promising.”
Day said he would like to thank everyone involved with the Atherton Roosters rugby league club and the community for their overwhelming support this year.