Erina Rugby League Football Club is rich in football history. Our first competition success came in 1922 when gold medallions were presented to the players. World War II saw the end of the district teams but a revival occurred in the late 1940?s with the formation of the Central Coast Rugby League. In the 1960’s our notable players were Ron Kelk, and Ron “Pudgie” Nowland, who captained-coached the 1st grade side to a narrow loss in the Grand Final in extra time in 1966.
The 1970’s saw a golden era for the club with the 1st Grade being defeated in the Grand Final in 1976 but winning the premiership in 1977 under Coach Bruce Montgomery. Club legend, Founding & Life Member – Bruce Fitzpatrick’s playing feats were recognised during this time as the only player to win the prestigious Sterland Medal, awarded by the Central Coast Division Rugby League, on 4 separate occasions.
Our later successes came with 1st Grade premierships in 1981 (Coach Ian McKay) 1988 (coach Tom Arber) 1991 (coach Greg Clements). During those years and in later years we experienced some close Grand Final defeats but that has always made those memorable wins more enjoyable for the club. A host of lower grade premierships has reinforced the depth and commitment shown by all the players in the clubs history. We have been honoured over the years to have several Country representatives including Russell Williamson, Steve Gilligan, Paul Melross, Perry Haddock, Greg Clements, Warren Douch & Grant Wooden. One hundred 1st Grade games have been achieved by many players and are honoured in the club’s “Hall of Fame”.
The most important milestone was the opening of the licensed Club in 1977, bringing to our club a real “home” that stands as a testimony to our officials of that time. The Jim Beam Cup saw a new direction for the club which at the time revitalised the local competition. The result was that we had an opportunity for all our players to play Rugby League at the highest level. We were also honoured to see our players over the years represent the Club in the Jim Beam Cup Representative side. The staff assembled at our club are the best in the business, with some having NRL experience. When you combine this with our comprehensive medical program, and our corporate family of Sponsorship partners you have a very positive environment to nurture your sporting career.
In season 2009 we returned to the Central Coast District Rugby League Competition. Season 2013, under the guidance of former NRL star Jamie Feeney saw The Mighty Erina Eagles make the Grand Final in 1st Grade, Open Grade & Under 18’s. Runners up in all 3 games has created more hunger for the title. 2016 saw the Ladies Tag side claim some sought after silverware for the club, defeating The Entrance 11-10 in a golden point grand final nail biter. 2017 saw the Erina Open Grade sign win a premiership for the club. In 2018 our Under 19’s & Open Grade sides were runners up in the Grand Final.
In 2019, Dane Allen will again coach the 1st Grade side. A major focus is on youth and enthusiasm and building on th success of our Under 19’s side from 2018. We have recruited well also in the off season with former NRL player Jonathon Wright moving to Erina and wearing the red, white & blue.
To be continued…….