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Last call for United players

Saturday, 25th January, 2014

By By Ethan James

The clock is ticking for United in their quest to join the Outback Rugby League competition this season.

The prospective club held a meeting and registration night on Tuesday but the turnout was less than expected, with just eight interested players turning up.

United ‘old boy’ Harry Prescott said it was always going to be difficult to get people together for a meeting.

“We got some there but it was only a handful, there are still a lot of names on paper,” he said.

The club is now taking a slightly different approach, holding a training session which will take place at the Norm Fox Oval from 6pm on Tuesday.  

Another old boy, Michael Thornbury, will be at the session and has put his hand up to coach the side.

“If people are fair dinkum about the club getting accepted, then they need to get there on Tuesday night,” he said.

Hailing from Orange, Thornbury played for the club in the 1990s and said it would be pretty special if the club could resurrect.

“It was always a family orientated club when I was involved with them, the wives and kids got along really well.”

There is now under two weeks before the ORL meet to decide the fate of the entity at their first meeting of the year in early February.

Prescott is confident that the off field structure of the club can take care of itself but says the biggest and most pressing challenge remains numbers.

“We’ve had a lot of great feedback and support from ex-players who have gotten on the phone and told me ‘if you need a hand with anything, we can help you out’,” he said.

“But the thing is playing numbers ... and once we do that, then we can go knocking on doors for financial support.”

Prescott says that although it is often difficult to assemble full squads in January due to work and holidays, it is time for people to band together.

“I remember when I played, we’d have people rock up a few weeks before the season and just start training,” he said.

“But we don’t have that luxury ... we have about two weeks before the league meeting, where they’ll decide whether or not the club is viable.

“We understand their situation entirely, they have to get the draw made and everything like that.

“It just means we have to get everything rolling a bit earlier simply because we’re not a registered club at this stage.”

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