Respect key to growth and success of Magpies
SINCE the club's birth in 1915 the Lower Clarence Magpies has both tasted success and faced more than its fair share of adversity in recent years. But we have continually fought back.
The club's history is littered with the names of many local families who have provided club greats, such as Binge, Essex, Laurie, Macarron and Randall. Some of those family names remain involved, providing second and third generation family traditions as they represent this great club and community.
It is that history and legacy those before us have left for us that MUST be respected and kept alive in order to move forward.
As many clubs struggle or fold the words loyalty, pride, passion and commitment - or lack of - are said to be responsible for the demise of those clubs. For me, it is the lack of respect... respect for the past players who represented with pride, respect for the current players who stayed and represented with guts, respect for the future players (juniors) who all deserve the opportunity to represent the club in the future, and respect for the community, volunteers and sponsors who continue to support the club through good and bad.
Whether players have left for money or the belief success can only be achieved elsewhere, I truly believe while it is an individual's right to earn what they believe they are worth or play for whoever they believe will help achieve success, it should never be considered a right to represent this club or any club... it should always be considered an honour to do so.
For those who believe the club must spend to bring success, remember that loyalty, pride, passion and commitment are individual traits that cannot be bought and cannot be coached. They are by-products of respect and come easy to those who believe in what they do and understand why they are doing it.
As I sit battered and bruised and reflect on yet another tough season, I know many will consider very little has been achieved in 2019.
While many believe the decision to only field reserve grade was wrong, it has kept the club alive. While our reggies only registered one win and one draw and many games played with minimal numbers, we still took the field.
Despite some of the scores appearing to show a lack of fight, the truth is when players are flat out walking let alone running, when they are flat out lifting their arms let alone tackling, the option to quit would have been easier. But they didn't. They chose to take the field and finish what we started.
There are names among these lads that will never go down in the club's history books. But the 2019 playing group including our LLT and 18s should be remembered as the group that stayed and fought.
Personally I am proud to have been part of the ride with each and every one of them. I have played rugby league for almost 35 years and had the privilege to share the field with great players who went on to play in Sydney, play State of Origin and for Australia. I have found there are two types of players or people - those who talk about what needs to be done, and those who do what needs to be done.
For us as a club to achieve success we as individuals just need to choose which one.
After 15 years of hard work by past president Bruce Howard, Tim Ryan and Tony Marshall, the clubhouse build finally begins next week. That vision is finally coming to fruition. In 2020 we will have a home, we will be in a position to continue and grow as a club. Next year we WILL go again...
Thank you to all who have stayed strong, and see you all in 2020.
John Elisaia, president
Lower Clarence Magpies