Talk is over, now it's time for TRL football
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Toowoomba Rugby League season is now just one sleep away, and anticipation is at fever pitch.
The gap between the top and bottom teams has been closed thanks to shrewd recruitment and the bar being raised, helping to create one of the most open seasons in recent memory.
TRL chairman Brian Gilroy said this same excitement was felt by the entire board and himself, who were chomping at the bit for the kick-off to the new year.
"It's exciting for us all. It's been a long time in planning,” he said.
"We do a lot of our work in the off-season, including the draw, and it's great to see it all come to fruition.
"All the stuff we do is for the footy.”
Gilroy said key signings and returning players helped create a quality competition across the board.
"I think so. There are a lot of people saying that and I tend to agree with what we've seen so far,” he said.
"There is some strength coming into the competition from last year. It was a good comp at the top end, and a few teams have beefed up.
"There are young fellas who are coming back to play for their club after their time at Q Cup level.
"They see it was a worthwhile competition to play in, and they get to play with blokes they grew up with.
"I think it's wonderful, and there is some real quality amongst them too.”
Highfields junior Brodie Croft and former Brothers representative Ash Taylor have led the charge for the TRL in the top grade this season with a pair of round one NRL wins.
Gilroy said it was a delight to see players take the ultimate step.
"I was a teacher at Harristown previously and taught Ash Taylor,” he said. "It's good to see them succeed.
"I'm also proud of the kids who don't go on, and get to play footy. C-grade and reserve grade are just as important.”