Border Rugby League club facing shortage of players

HELP: Rugby League club Wodonga Wombats are short of players, but president Sten Sakkas and secretary Donna Cederblad are searching. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE
HELP: Rugby League club Wodonga Wombats are short of players, but president Sten Sakkas and secretary Donna Cederblad are searching. Picture: JAMES WILTSHIRE

A Border Rugby League club is battling for survival – just four months after forming.

The Wodonga Wombats are hoping to play in the lower-level Murray Cup and have launched a bold recruiting campaign, cold calling various sporting groups in a desperate search for players.

“I’ve had a dream to coach a first grade side and the amount of work I’ve been trying to do, I’ve been trying to get blokes from Albury-Wodonga to have a run,” coach Kurt Longford said.

“I’ve been in contact with the (Albury-Wodonga Rugby Union Club) Steamers, I’ve spoken with (Tallangatta and District League outfit) Wodonga Saints, as well as a few more Aussie Rules clubs.

“We’re going to only target clubs with blokes who aren’t getting much of a run.”

The Wombats had been training twice a week, but have cut that back to just one – at Wodonga’s Gayview Park on Friday nights from 6pm – in an attempt to get everyone to the session.

Longford’s determination can’t be questioned.

He lives in Narrandera and works in Wagga, so it will be a massive year for travel.

If the Wombats make it to the starting line, Longford has plans for a number of special occasions.

“I’m hoping for an Indigenous round and also an autism round, to raise funds for the Ricky Stuart (Canberra Raiders’ coach) Foundation.”

Longford can be contacted on 0422-871-671.

The Murray Cup is targeting a six-team competition, with Wodonga Storm the premiers.