On Sunday, the Marlins kicked of the 2017 Premier Rugby season at the Manly Bowling Club in front of a strong crowd of supporters, sponsors, players & coaches! Certainly there was a clear sense of community around the room and Club President Anthony Bergelin made note of the diverse attendance
“We have a renewed focus on our engagement with the Manly community and we look forward to rewarding all of our supporters with an improved match day experience both at the Oval and post-game here at the Bowling Club”. In attendance were Directors from the Mounties Group the club's Major Sponsor as well as gold sponsors and a host of businesses, many local, who have taken back of jersey sponsorships.
Head Coach Brian ‘Billy’ Melrose said the squad was in good shape for kick off but pointed out that there are a number of very strong teams in the competition and it is as tight as he has ever seen it. Melrose also pointed out that he is after improvement first & foremost
“The reality is we finished 7th in 2016 and looking at the teams ahead I can’t see any of them going backwards, so we either improve or we stay 7th”. He also encouraged fans to travel to watch the team throughout the season “I live in Manly & I know how wonderful life is by the beach but the reality is the competition is played all over Sydney and if our supporters want success then we have to get along and support the team away from Manly Oval - as hard as it is to leave!!”
The 1st Grade team selected to face Souths on Saturday saw the welcome inclusion of Dennis Pili-Gaitau who has returned to the Marlins following a stint at the Rebels. The team also includes 3 players from New Zealand making their debut for the Marlins, brothers Gunnz and Kevin Fuavao from Auckland, and Cam Bailey.
Bailey, who arrives from Christchurch said "I am definately excited about the opportunity to wear the Marlins Jersey with the history that comes with it. My family are heading over from Christchurch, and I hope to do them and the club proud on Saturday"
The Marlins always welcome the support of their loyal fans whilst on the road, so head down to Forshaw on Saturday to start the season off with a bang!