By Jackson Russell
A Kilmore family has taken it upon themselves to keep their children playing rugby league after suddenly losing their club at the end of the 2019 season.
After the Craigieburn-based Hume City Bulldogs ‘vanished without a trace’ last spring, Morgan and Keryse Munro were left wondering if their children would be able to play rugby league this year.
They decided to start a new club, Hume Eagles Rugby League Club.
“Some people from NRL Victoria enquired with us as to whether we’d start a franchise so we decided we would start a club together and hand pick a committee who were as passionate as we were,” Mr Munro said.
“We formed the committee earlier in the year. We’re all set to go, we’ve got a jumper designed and have met all our compliance for the reserve and were successful in being awarded use of Hothlyn Drive Reserve in Craigieburn.”
However, the same week the club was supposed to collect the keys for its new home, Premier Daniel Andrews announced the first lot of COVID-19 restrictions, stopping the club in its tracks.
While it originally planned to have teams in seven or eight age groups, after the first restrictions were introduced, the club forged ahead and decided to field at least one side.
The club had also planned to merge some teams with Mernda Dragons to make sure as many children as possible had a chance to play.
Munro said the club wanted to focus on creating a culture through its juniors before thinking about fielding senior sides and creating opportunities for girls to play rugby league.
“If you start off with seniors they can already have attitudes and habits, but if you start off with juniors, you can create the right environment and culture,” he said.
“We want to show them the right way and for them to show others later.
“I have two daughters and I want them to have the same opportunities as my son has.”
Rather than focus on the Craigieburn area, the club is hoping to recruit juniors from further north and even tap into Assumption College’s sporting pipeline.
“If we stick to the same area of Craigieburn, we can end up the same [as the Bulldogs]. We need more diversification,” he said.
“We’re definitely looking in Beveridge, Wallan and Kilmore, maybe even Broadford.
“We’re also looking for good people with good fabric to join our ranks. We need coaches, trainers and volunteers, we need a lot of things.”
To get involved with the Hume Eagles, visit bit.ly/3gpwWh9 or contact Morgan Munro on 0421 167 722.