Dean to make mark on Border

Albury Thunder youngster Bailey Young played for the Riverina Academy.
Albury Thunder youngster Bailey Young played for the Riverina Academy.

ALBURY has secured its first full-time NRL development officer with Dean Whymark moving to the Border.

Whymark relocated from the South Coast last week and will work with schools and league officials in promoting the code as it attempts to make further inroads on the back of the success of Albury Thunder.

He and South Sydney players Aaron Gray and Chris Grevsmuhl visited 10 Albury and Wodonga schools yesterday as part of the Tackle Bullying program.

“The opportunity presented itself to come back to the area and, with family here, the timing was right,” Whymark said.

“I’m a Leeton junior so I know the region well.

“I’ll be spending time with Wodonga and Albury clubs and trying to re- establish contact with the volunteers in the area.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Whymark, who has previously been based at Griffith as a development officer, said the Border had benefited greatly from Albury Thunder’s emergence in Group 9 over the past two years.

“The success of Albury Thunder has really helped and there are some quality volunteers here as well,” he said.

“We have a good rugby league brand at the moment.

“It’s been a big couple of days and the South Sydney boys have been fantastic ambassadors.”

Yesterday’s school visits capped off a big few days for the Border after Melbourne Storm played the Canberra Raiders in an under-20 match at Greenfield Park on Saturday.

Storm also took on the Riverina Academy in under 16 and 18 matches.

St George-Illawarra, Penrith, Canberra and Melbourne Storm development and recruitment staff were on hand with Albury Thunder hooker Bailey Young playing for the academy’s under-16 line-up.