July 1, 2012

The South Burnett could again boast an Aussie Rules team if Will Reid’s dream for next season comes true.

Will told southburnett.com.au on Friday the new team would be known as the South Burnett Saints and would play in red, white and black colours.

He is working with an AFL Development Officer to get the club off the ground and has already had expressions of interest from 10 senior players in the short period of the time the idea has been floated.

“It’s early days yet,” Will said. “So far, the idea is being spread by word-of-mouth and on Facebook.”

He will be calling a public meeting within a few weeks to garner more support and start the process of approaching potential sponsors.

The Saints would play in the Darling Downs competition against clubs from Toowoomba, Warwick, Goondiwindi, Dalby and the Lockyer Valley. A team from Chinchilla was also under development.

The last Aussie Rules senior team operational in the area was the Kingaroy Bulldogs. A separate club, the Kingaroy-Nanango Jets, were part of a junior competition.

Will hopes the Saints would have both senior and junior sides playing as part of the one club.

The team has not yet finalised a home ground but Will plans to meet with South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann to discuss this and other issues.

In the past, Aussie Rules was played on Lyle Vidler Oval and Will said this would be perfect if it could be arranged as the postholes for the goal posts are already in place.

He is confident there are many potential junior players in the region.

“There is an Auskick program at Taabinga State School, for example, which is really successful,” he said.

Will recently coached an U12s schoolboys team who represented the South Burnett at a carnival in Wide Bay in April. With very little training, the team defeated Gympie and almost beat Maryborough at the carnival.

“I was very impressed with their development in such a short period of time,” he said.

Will is mindful that the distance to travel to away games caused a problem for the previous Aussie Rules team.

“We hope that next year, as part of our development, most of the games could be played here,” he said.

“A central place could also be selected for games such as those against Goondiwindi, where both teams would travel a shorter distance.”

Will only moved to the area this year to teach at Wondai State School. He was formerly in Toowoomba where he played for a couple of years with the University of Southern Queensland Aussie Rules tream, the USQ Cougars.

UPDATE July 12: A public meeting will be held at the Kingaroy Cricket Club (Lyle Vidler Oval) from 6:30pm on July 25.

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