Roosters say their first season was fair enough

“WE copped some huge dust-ups on the scoreboard, but we didn’t back down,” Ashford Rugby League Club president, Mick Lewis said.
Nanjing Night Net

It was Lewis’ take on the Roosters effort this year after they ended their season last week, fighting for air beneath a massive 72-12 loss against the Moree Boomerangs.

However Lewis said the club was satisfied with the season.

“We were happy to come through without any forfeits,” he said.

“When we started the season and we were forced to go up to first grade we set ourselves some objectives. To come through the season without forfeiting a game, hopefully win a game in A grade (we didn’t care where it was) and just with this friendly little rivalry, we wanted to beat Inverell in the first grade.”

Lewis said the Roosters had ticked all three of those boxes and thought the rivalry between the Roosters and the Hawks was very much overstated in some quarters. He admitted there was significant competition between the two clubs, but put it down to the fact that Inverell are their nearest rival team. He described the Hawks as being more of a big brother or parent figure club.

“I don’t want bad blood between Inverell and Ashford, it’s not necessary,” Lewis said.

“The challenge of beating something that you’ve been a part of previously was there for all of our players and we’re happy to achieved that, but it’s not resentment of Inverell. They may take it that way, but that’s not what I mean.

“I mean, I didn’t go to the players who came to us, they came to me and there are reasons for that and they need to look at that.

“But don’t just point the finger at us, we’re not the bad boys here.”

Lewis said the Roosters existence has little to do with Inverell.

“We’re a little town of 500 people who have had an ambition to have a rugby league team for many, many years,” Lewis said.

“A number of those players who came back to us have ties with the town,” Lewis said.

“They were educated out here in some cases or their family came from out here or their fathers in some cases played for Ashford when there was a club here previously and there was a bit of an emotional attachment to the town and they wanted to come back out.

“Darrell Kachel’s right in one way, it’s the novelty of a new club and I understand that. I’m not being critical of the Hawks, but Inverell would have to look at the way they have treated their players over the years and look at the reasons some of their players chose to come to us, I guess.”

Lewis said he is fairly confident the Roosters will form again next season, but the final decision had not been made yet.

“The majority of players we’ve had this year have indicated they will be back with us next year, in fact they’re looking forward to it,” Lewis said.

“We’d like to improve our player strength, particularly in first grade. We were probably not realistically competitive this season, so we need to improve a bit.

“We’re not worried about numbers it’s just that we need to find a few more quality first graders to put in with what we’ve got.”

So what are next year’s goals?

“To field three sides again and improve on this year’s performance, simple as that.

“Look, having our own football side is a huge thing for the Ashford community and this year our gate was very well supported and not only by people from Ashford either.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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