Sport / News / 21st January 2021
Unicorns in training
The Coonabarabran Unicorns are set to return to the field this year after an extended hiatus.
The global COVID-19 pandemic forced the Coonabarabran Rugby League Football Club (CRLFC) to pull the team from the Castlereagh League competition last year.
But the Unicorns, who won the grand final in 2019, will be back bigger and better with former NRL star and South Sydney Rabbitohs premiership-winning Kyle Turner’s influence.
Although it is still unknown what capacity Turner will play in the team, it is a massive boost for the club and rugby league in the area.
CRLFC president, Tony Cole, said whether Turner decided to don a jersey or not, his presence at the club was priceless.
“He’s been training for some time now and I think he will have a run, but honestly, we don’t really want to push him,” Mr Cole said.
“Whatever capacity he gives us as a club would be greatly appreciated.
“Having someone around our club with the experience Kyle has, whether he pulls a jumper on or not will be great.”
Mr Cole said it wasn’t just local footy fans who missed out on not having a team in the competition last year, but it also affected the town as a whole.
He expects the town to come out in droves to support the Unicorns once the footy season returns.
“After not having footy last year and with the possibility of watching a former NRL star in action, I’m sure we will get some good crowds.
“It feels good - everyone is excited.
“It was also a blow to the local economy last year because the town didn’t have teams and supporters coming here to play and spending their money locally.”
As COVID-19 continues to impact businesses and events, it is likely that it will also affect the running of the competition this year.
“It’s hard to say accurately how it will impact us, it all depends on how we control it as a country,” Mr Cole said.
“We will probably get told about a week before the competition what regulations there will be - whether that’s a limit on crowds or whatever we don’t know yet, but watch this space.”
The Unicorns officially began training last week and will continue to train Tuesday and Thursday.
Anyone interested in playing can attend training sessions or register online at mysideline.com.au and follow the prompts.
The club will also hold a meet-and-greet night at the Coonabarabran Bowling Club at 7pm on Thursday, 18 February.