After a 10-year absence from the code, former rugby league star, Gary Seaton gave an interview about his return as coach of Wynnum-Manly Seagulls in the Brisbane competition.
The former Brisbane Colt of the Year, and premiership winner with Wynnum in 1982, made a promise to Seagulls’ supporters that the club would go back to local juniors to regain community respect, after a disastrous end to the 1980s.
Seaton’s only previous senior coaching experience was as captain-coach of Tamworth City in New South Wales in 1979, when they were beaten in the grand final.
“I was only 24 and some of the blokes I was coaching were 32,” he said. “When I moved back to Brisbane in 1980, Des Morris asked me to play at Wynnum. I started there when I was 16 when the coach was former Australian captain, Brian Davies.”
After winning the inaugural Brisbane Colt of the Year award in 1975, Seaton switched to Norths, where he remained until the Tamworth assignment. A halfback when he began his career, he finished in the second row, playing there alongside Brian Battese in Wynnum’s Grand Final win over Souths in 1982.
Wynnum had been without a sponsor in 1991, but announced Bryan Byrt Ford as their backers for the 1992 season.
“Our return to Kougari Oval (after a period at Kianawah Park) and this new sponsorship deal has given the place the stability it lacked in recent years,” said Wynnum secretary, Mike Horgan.
In other BRL news from 1992, Logan City announced the signing of professional sprinter, David Briggs, the winner of the Queensland Gift at QEII Stadium. Briggs scored 23 tries for Kyogle Bush Turkeys in the Northern Rivers competition in 1991. Logan had just been given the green light to remain in the BRL, after proving it could meet its financial obligations.
Easts Tigers failed in a bid to sign prop, Peter Anderson after his stint with Hull Kingston Rovers in England. Anderson said he would return to Stanthorpe, where he had played the 1991 season.
“Steve Herman and Paul Lusk are quality props, but if either is injured, we’re in a bit of strife,” said Easts’ CEO, Shane Richardson.
Valleys’ secretary, Rod Boult said the club was owed $23,000 in release fees from NSWRL clubs, Canberra, Cronulla and the Broncos, with the Broncos owing $5,000 for forward, Brett Galea.
Brisbane chairman, Kevin Brasch accused ‘Sydney clubs’ of cavalier behaviour in the way they tried to entice players from Queensland, via a series of trials.
“The Sydney clubs woo someone like Tony Catton from Valleys; he trains with them for months, and then if he plays below expectations, or is injured, they cast him aside,” Brasch said. “If any other employee did that, it would be called a scam. NSW are becoming very cavalier about this situation. When Peter Coyne trialed with St George a couple of seasons back, he had to get a clearance. That’s the
way it should be.”
Meanwhile, Brisbane based referee, Eddie Ward was named to control the Test series between Great Britain and France. It was Ward’s first Test appointment in 11 years, and he admitted he had given up hope of getting another job at that level. His previous Test was a New Zealand v France match in Auckland in 1981.
In England, Leeds coach, Doug Laughton dropped former All Blacks’ fullback, John Gallagher from first grade, replacing him with former Cardiff rugby player, Phil Ford, for a match against Castleford. Laughton had hardly used Gallagher in the previous five months, despite the Kiwi being on huge money. Broncos’ utility, John Plath was given permission by the club to extend his stay with London Crusaders, as they sought to gain promotion to the first division.
Footnote: Late in 2021 it emerged there were plans for Wynnum-Manly’s football sides to move from Kougari Oval to nearby Kitchener Park. A ‘Save Kougari’ campaign was started, and quickly gathered momentum, with Wynnum legend, former Origin forward, Craig Greenhill at the helm.