The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Blacktown Workers Junior Rugby League Football Club Inc. have used the successful blue print of other NRL Clubs in forming a joint venture between the clubs to participate in the Intrust NSW Cup competition for 2017.
Both Clubs are respectful of the process and protocol of both the NSWRL and the Blacktown Workers Group Board and are confident and hopeful that approval and support will be given by both parties for the 4 year association to commence from 2017.
The team will be known as the Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles and will be coached by current Blacktown Workers Ron Massey Cup Coach Pat Weisner.
The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have always wanted to establish a relationship at the strongest level below the NRL and this arrangement provides that opportunity.
The Sea Eagles were highly successful several seasons ago with the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. The arrangement with Blacktown Workers will be a similar arrangement and put the Sea Eagles on the same level as South Sydney with North Sydney, Canberra with Mounties, Melbourne Storm with the Sunshine Coast, Parramatta with Wentworthville and Cronulla with Newtown.
The Manly Sea Eagles are adamant there will be no raid on Blacktown Workers Juniors but are delighted that their players will have a pathway to the NRL.
Blacktown Workers have been one of three feeder clubs to Penrith Panthers, both Manly and Blacktown Workers have received full support from Panthers in the establishment of the Joint Venture.
Keith Cochran, President of Blacktown Workers Junior Rugby League Incorporated which was formed in 1964 has always wanted to play at the highest level possible. Keith stated “This gives us a rare opportunity for our players to play with and against the very best available at our home ground H.E. Laybutt Field”.
“It will be a great boost for rugby league in the district to have players with NRL experience training and playing with our locally grown products".
"Manly is an iconic club and the most successful of the modern era. To link with them is an opportunity too good to miss”.
Phil Gould, General Manager Football at Panthers has been across the JV and has been supportive.
Joe Kelly, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles CEO stated “This is an opportunity for the Sea Eagles to be bought into line with other NRL Clubs who have established similar joint ventures with supportive feeder clubs to bring rugby league to grass roots areas.
"Blacktown Workers having a 52 year history now get the opportunity to compete at the very best level of competition outside of the NRL in partnership with the Sea Eagles. This should not be taken as a shunning of our local juniors or an attempt to take players out of the Blacktown area in great numbers in fact it is the opposite. This will encourage players to try and find a pathway to fulfilling every players dream of playing NRL".