Who let the ’Dogs out?
The Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs Rugby League Football Club, that’s who.
The Bulldogs have returned to the training field ahead of a big season of Group 16 rugby league.
The club was unsuccessful in fielding a first grade team for the upcoming season, but will pin their hopes on their talented under 18 team plus the ever popular ladies league tag team - the Hotdoggies.
Organisers said numbers at training have been very encouraging with the ladies, in particular, seeing a large influx of new players.
Both the league-tag and 18s squads will benefit from co-coaching arrangements.
Bernie Maher and Vic Halfpenny have taken on the duties with the Hotdoggies, while Flynn Calloway and Warren Schafer will control the under 18s.
The Bulldogs have been placed into the Group 16 draw alongside the recently reformed Candelo- Bemboka Panthers.
This will see the two clubs share the home games between Pambula and Bemboka.
Any league fans who witnessed games at Colombo Park in Bemboka will recall a superb natural amphitheatre, suited to spectator viewing.
With the club looking strong, the Bulldogs will continue their 2014 sponsorship drive to support rugby league in the local community.
Many prospective sponsors had been unsure of the club’s future and were reluctant to commit.
The committee said they can be assured that the Bulldogs club continues into the future and is, in fact, already planning to have players return to form a force to be reckoned with in 2015.
The committee said the Merimbula RSL has shown faith in the Bulldogs, increasing its sponsorship over last season, and continuing an association that has lasted for over 30 years.
The club thanked the RSL for its continued support.
The Hotdoggies and Under 18s both have major sponsors and the stage is set for the ‘Dogs.
The committee said things are pointing towards a successful season both on and off the field.
The Bulldogs are also proud to announce three juniors have been picked up by NRL clubs.
Ben Halfpenny has signed on with the Melbourne Storm and is impressing selectors with his dedication and ever-improving form.
Meanwhile, loyalties were divided when two local juniors faced off in the precursor to the Charity Shield.
Tom Hughes took to the field in the centres for South Sydney’s U20s and Euan Aitken came off the bench for the St George Illawarra Dragon’s U20s, also to play in the centres.
The Bulldogs club wish all three the best of luck this season.
Group 16 rugby league is nearly ready to launch and will kick-off shortly with a 9s competition to be held at Bemboka on March 23.
Following that, there will be a short pre-season competition, culminating in a final on the weekend of April 5 and 6.
The season proper will start on the Anzac weekend in April.
The club is still accepting sponsors and you register your interest by contacting the club.