What Hawks’ merged rugby league season will look like
THE Gatton Hawks' A-grade coach will finally get the chance to lead his team toward a premiership this season - a chance coronavirus previously stripped away.
Andrew Schmidt was announced as A-grade coach earlier this year, but his team only got as far as a pre-season game before everything came to a halt.
But in a bid to keep football alive, three Toowoomba teams have combined with three Ipswich teams and the Hawks to create a 10-week season.
"A fair few of the boys aren't going to play, but we're grabbing whatever we've got to put a side together," Schmidt said.
"I had considered the season to be over, but the boys are still keen to play."
The first three matches of the combined competition between Ipswich and Toowoomba sides will be played at the North Ipswich Reserve on Saturday, August 1.
The first-round games will feature Rugby League Ipswich A-grade sides Goodna, Norths and West End tackling Toowoomba competition opponents Gatton, Souths and Valleys.
After that, each club in Ipswich and Toowoomba can host a round of fixtures to bolster their revenue.
Ten weeks of matches are planned before a round of semi-finals on Sunday, October 11.
The grand final is set down for Sunday, October 18.
The Hawks previously played in the Ipswich league in the 1980s, but since moved to Toowoomba's league.
Schmidt said there would be a strong Toowoomba versus Ipswich mentality.
His team will consist of about nine A-grade footballers, plus Under-19 representative footballers Dylan Flanagan and Brendan Clarke, who played for the Clydesdales.
"I don't know what Ipswich have got - a lot of their sides support the Jets - we'll have to wait and find out," Schmidt said.
"We won't be in the whitewash."
RLI chairman Gary Parker met with clubs last night at the Gatton Leagues Club to confirm details.
Parker said the opening matches in Ipswich on August 1 would be played at times like 1.30pm, 3.30pm and 5.30pm.
"Whichever venue you go to will get the three A-grade games,'' Parker said.