THE Wanderers Junior Rugby League tried out its sign-on day at the Family Fun Park for the first time.
The club’s president Ian Skerman said the Wanderers wanted to do “something a bit different” during the sign-on day.
“It’s been busy I suppose. It gives a chance for the kids to do something while their parents are signing up.
“Otherwise they would be down on the footy field smashing each other.”
It’s just as well the sign-on was held near water. The maximum temperature in Mount Isa that day was 38.4 degrees, although during the sign-on was closer to 36.4.
Training began on Tuesday, with the Under 14s the first division to practice at the Alex Inch Oval in the lead-up to the rugby league season.
There had been good numbers in the younger grades that signed on at the event held Sunday midday.
“We’ve had a handful of new numbers (new to town) which is good to see,” Skerman said.
“We’ve lost a few kids this year who have moved out of town – it’s probably been pretty even.”
The club president said older grades were struggling with numbers, especially the Under 18s side.
But he expected another strong season. The club president noted that the Wanderers won all their junior grades last year.
Skerman said the junior competitions were strong. The younger age groups were significant for the quality of the Mount Isa senior league in future years.
“It’s definitely going to flow on to the senior league...as long as the community can retain people," he said.
Among the junior players waiting at the fun park were Under 16s players Haydn Andrews and Brayden Jones.
They both looked forward to returning to the field.
Jones typically played as the hooker and hoped to do so again. He loved rugby league because it was a good way of playing with his mates.
Andrews usually plays at the front row.
He set a challenge for other teams the Wanderers play against this year when he said what he looked forward to the most this season.
“I’m looking forward to winning the grand final, like last year,” Andrews said.