The arrival of Test coach, Frank Stanton raised the hopes of Redcliffe supporters, with the club experiencing a premiership drought going back to their inaugural title in 1965, when Henry Holloway was in charge and the great Arthur Beetson played in the centres.
Stanton, signed on a record three year, $75,000 deal, succeeded Ron Raper, who had limited success in 1979, the year the club opened its new stadium, Dolphin Oval. They previously played at the Showgrounds.
Stanton, who coached the Kangaroos in Britain and France in 1977-78 and Australia in the home series against Britain in ’79, had won two Sydney titles with Manly-Warringah.
Redcliffe’s major player signing was State centre, Chris Close from Valleys, but they also attracted plenty of bush stars, among them Chris Holmes (Theodore), Peter Griffiths (Cairns), Steve Bax (Mt Isa) and Bob Abbott (Innisfail).
Stanton said he expected Redcliffe players to train in the same manner as his Manly-Warringah charges, although he acknowledged he had to take into account Brisbane’s heat.
A new training apparatus, the ‘Universal Machine’, was to be imported from the United States and installed in Redcliffe’s gym.
“Sixteen players can use it at the same time, all doing different exercises,” Stanton proclaimed to wide eyed journalists.