Welcome! The Cougars kicked off the 2019 season by winning the Little Legends competition on Macquarie Sports Radio, we also fielded our first ever Girls Team in the U13s League TAG Competition and we were the First Balmain Team to be accredited with NSWRL Blue Shield. I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to all, winning the NSWRL Volunteer of the year is something that I will cherish forever. All of these are amazing achievements are a credit to this club, our Cougar Community.
In season 2019 the Cougars fielded 14 teams, including the U13s TAG team. We had 9 teams participating in the Balmain District Competition and 5 in the Sydney Combined Competition. As a club we also had several ex-players playing for the Ryde Eastwood Hawks in U18s, U20s, U23s, Open Women’s and the Premiers of the Sydney Shield.
The Cougars in 2019 had 7 teams playing in Finals football, with 3 of these teams progressing to the Grand Final at Leichhardt Oval. The first game on Grand Final Day was the U9’s and they turned up ready to play and what an outstanding defensive performance by the boys. Coach Sean knew they had the attacking power and so they tackled everything, the boys ran out winners 32-12 with Louis Burbridge winning man of the match. After the Mini Teams entertained the crowds during the lunch break, it was time for the U11s to take the field, the U11s were going for back to back Grand Final wins and everyone at the ground knew this was going to be a close game and the kids never stopped trying. The Cougars led by 6 with a few minutes to go, with the crowd behind them the Cougars lifted winning 18-12, Cooper Stanley was awarded Man of the Match. This was a great win by Anh and the kids and was a great result after a tough season. On Sunday we had our third Grand Final with the U14s taking the field and what an amazing turn around for this team. After a tough 2018 they found a competitive competition and seeing the smiles on these boys faces week in and week out was a credit to coach Charlie and his crew. Unfortunately, they just fell short 8-6 even with the most vocal supporters crowd of the weekend. None the less boys we are all proud of your effort.
During the 2019 season the Cougars had 13 boys selected in the Balmain Development Squads from Under 13 to 15. We also had 4 boys play for Balmain in the Under 16 Harold Mathews competition. The Club also had our first ever girl represent Balmain in the U15s Balmain TAG Team, this was an amazing achievement. It was a great Development season for all kids involved and seeing these kids wearing the Black & Gold and getting the chance to run out onto Leichhardt Oval was a massive highlight. A huge congratulations to Steve Younis for being selected as an U13s Development Coach. We would also like to congratulate Jason Saab on making his NRL debut for St George Illawarra.
For such a great club you need a great Committee and I would like to thank the 2019 Committee for all their hard work during the year, put simply the Cougars have the best committee of any junior Rugby League Club! This season saw another successful trivia night at North Rocks Community Centre. The hall was jammed packed and a fun night was had by all, it was wonderful to see past and present Cougar families having a great time.
During the season so much goes on I would person- ally like to thank all of the families who have volunteered during the season, these families have come down and assisted at Home Games working in the canteen, rubbish collection, setting up and packing down the fields, getting the BBQ ready for the best Bacon & Egg rolls available and selling merchandise. One of the features we have all come to love is the Cougars Café at Sir Thomas Mitchell on a Friday night, providing dinner to hungry leagues players. Thank you to all the parents who helped the in Café. It is great seeing so many families sitting under the heaters during those cold winter nights and watch the kids train.
We need to thank Ryde Eastwood Leagues Club for their investment into Junior Rugby League and what they provide for our Cougar kids and the opportu- nity they provide to older kids with a pathway to continue playing Rugby League into the future.
To all of our sponsors in 2019 as a Club we need to support these sponsors as they support our kids. A huge thank you for taking the time and investing in the Kids of the Carlingford Cougars and we hope you can come back in 2020.
There is one crucial component and without this we don’t have a Junior Rugby League, next time you see a referee make a wrong call or decision you don’t agree with please remember we all make mistakes and keep your opinions to yourself. To all the referees we thank you and I would also like to congratulate the Cougar kids who have become referees. If you are thinking of becoming a referee, please touch base with us.
To the families who’ve supported the Cougar Wrap during the season I thank you. To me this is a highlight seeing these young kids get up in front of a crowd and tell us what happened during their game, their excitement is amazing.
To the Coaches, Managers, Trainers & First aid officers thank you for looking after the kids during the games and training sessions. It is fantastic seeing what you do especially at training during the week and the smiles this generates on a Sunday.
I would like to sign off for 2019 and thank everyone especially a hard working committee who are involved at the Club and what an amazing few years we have had:
2017 – NSWRL Grass Roots Club of the Year
2018 – NSWRL RESPECT Club of the Year
2019 – NSWRL Volunteer of the Year
This just shows what a special club we have and it’s a credit to everyone past & present for the mighty Carlingford Cougars and here’s to an incredible future and I look forward to seeing you all in 2020.