LEAGUE: Tweed Heads Seagulls Football Club CEO Paul Stephenson.
LEAGUE: Tweed Heads Seagulls Football Club CEO Paul Stephenson. Contributed

Seagulls set to tackle 2019 Intrust Super Cup head on

THE draw is out for the 2019 Intrust Super Cup and as far as tough starts go, the Tweed Heads Seagulls have scored big time.

Seagulls will meet the PNG Hunters in the opening round at home on Sunday, march 10, followed the next week host the Townsville Blackhawks and then in the third week, Rivalry Round, they travel to Burleigh to play their arch rivals the Bears.

While that might seem a daunting task for Tweed supporters, the rugby league club Chief Executive Officer Paul Stephenson is more optimistic and can see a silver lining in tackling three leading teams early in the Cup draw.

"Hosting the Hunters in our opening game will be great for the club, they always draw a decent crowd,” Stephenson said.

"The Hunters have had some significant changes to their side and while they always play a tough game, we have had some success against them in the past so meeting their early in the season is a bit of a bonus for us.

"The same could be said for Townsville, getting them while they are settling into their combinations and if we could post a win over them, it would give our side a real boost.

"As for Burleigh, it doesn't matter when we play the Bears, it's always a tough, physical game so bring it on.”

Stephenson said the club's recruitment had been very good, adding some experienced players to the squad.

"We have retained some of our young blokes from year and with some of the players we have coming, it will mean we have a good balance.”

Stephenson said that by focusing on Queensland Rugby League competitions - the Intrust Super Cup and the Under 20s - Seagulls was intent on providing genuine pathways for local league players to progress to the higher grades.

"We want to establish connections with the local clubs playing in both the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers competitions where we can channel players back from the Q Cup and call on them when needed,” he said.

"By doing that, the clubs benefit by having their players gain experience by playing in a higher standard competition and we benefit by developing a pool of players who can slot into our sides if we need them due to injuries etc.”

Seagulls are also waiting on news of further funding to support $300,000 from the NSW Government for the construction of new facilities at the Piggabeen Sports Complex.

The club is looking at building women's changes rooms for its female rugby league players, a gym and extensions to the existing building.

Stephenson said stage one would involve the women's facilities which the DA with Tweed Shire Council had approved.

He said irrespective of any additional funding, Seagulls would have a women's team on the field in 2019.