Central Coast Rugby League Adopts Sydney Roosters' Nickname

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:49 pm    Post subject: Central Coast Rugby League Adopts Sydney Roosters' Nickname Reply with quote

Central Coast Rugby League Adopts Sydney Roosters' Nickname And Colours
Peter Way
Central Coast Gosford Express Advocate
February 24, 2017

Connor Watson and Mark O'Meley with young Central Coast Rooster players Mokena Moeke, Tyson James and Harrison Edwards, at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford. Picture: Peter Clark

IT IS the Chinese year of the Rooster so it's somewhat fitting­ that the Central Coast Rugby League's representative teams will also be known as the Roosters from this season.

It might even bring some good fortune on the field, not that they need it.

They will play under the banner of the Central Coast Roosters as part of the next stage of the partnership between Central Coast Division Rugby League and the Sydney Roosters National Rugby League club.

Mark O'Meley and Connor Watson, with young Central Coast Rooster players Tyson James, Harrison Edwards and Mokena Moeke, at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford. Picture: Peter Clark

The CRL Country Championship under-23s, 18s, 16s, 15s, 14s and ladies league tag sides will all take on the new moniker along with the Harold Matthews and SG Ball sides.

In addition, the Coast's sky blue and yellow will be replaced by the traditional tricolours of blue, red and white made famous by the Bondi Junction club since 1908.

The partnership was formed in 2014 and has already proven to be a successful talent development pathway for Coast juniors.

Central Coast Roosters jersey emblem. Picture: Peter Clark

Six local players made their debuts in the NRL in 2016 including Roosters Connor Watson (Kincumber) and Lattrell Mitchell (Central Coast Centurions), Newcastle Knights Jack Cogger (Toukley) and Jacob and Daniel Saifiti (The Entrance) and Wests Tigers' Jacob Liddle (Wyong).

In addition. four Coast juniors were part of the Roosters' under-20s squad that won the Holden Cup grand final last year including Ben Thomas (Kincumber), Kiah Cooper, Jarrett Boland and Bayley Faull (Terrigal).

The Coast is also well represented at the elite level with James Maloney and Chris Heighington helping Cronulla to its maiden premiership last year, Rory Kostjasyn moving from the Cowboys to Newcastle, Akuila Uate and Jono Wright at Manly and Jake Mamo who is now playing in the Super League in the UK.

Watson was a product of the partnership and knows first-hand what benefits there are for players.

"We're starting to see it come through all the grades, I grew up on the Central Coast and I've ended up at the Roosters," he said.

"If you look at the Central Coast we have one of the biggest junior bases of rugby league players and there's a lot of talent playing for different NRL clubs.

Central Coast Rugby League emblem on the back of the jerseys. Picture: Peter Clark

"There's been a few clubs that have tried to tap into the region but it hasn't really worked out, but you can see with the Roosters that it's definitely working and it's because of the hard work and resources they are putting into the Central Coast."

One of the big changes the Roosters have implemented is identifying talent and taking them to Sydney high-performance­ camps.

"The difference is the talented kids can come down and train with the other boys in the Roosters system and get coached by top coaches whether it's (Roosters NRL coach) Trent Robinson or our assistant coaches or even our 20s coach."

Roosters' player Connor Watson at Central Coast Stadium, ahead of the trial game against Manly. Picture: Peter Clark

Watson also said he thought changing the uniforms of the Coast's representative teams to essentially the Roosters NRL away kit would make the players feel "ten feet tall and bullet proof".

"It's awesome and it's pretty special as a kid coming from the Central Coast where there's not an NRL team, to be able to play in a jersey like that is something pretty cool."

Central Coast Roosters SG Ball coach and former Kangaroo Mark O'Meley said it was fantastic that the rugby league mad region was finally being taken seriously by an NRL club.

"There's a direct pathway, and there's heaps of talent coming through," he said.

"Other clubs haven't really tried too hard in this area,"

"When I was 15 it was North Sydney but since then we've had Melbourne come but not in a strong way and the Knights who said they were here but didn't actually do anything in the region.

"So as much as people say we've had clubs here, we haven't really since North Sydney."
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