Tell me what was inaccurate about that statement then Mr Fibro
The truth - it's a funny thing Knuckles - it won't hold the stage like your attention grabber - however at your request here it is.
In 2011 it was decided by the new Emus board that the club didn't have a chance of surviving without juniors coming through to Colts. The board was never as presumptuous to assume that we would approach the existing junior clubs in the area. It was the plan to start a number of new clubs around the Penrith area with minis. It was always going to be a long term project. However in about July 2011 (after once again supporting the Western Sydney Barbarians to the tune of approximate $7000.00) a member of the board received a phone call from the President of Hawkesbury Valley Juniors advising that they were most dissatisfied with Parramatta Juniors and believed he had the support of his club to make the move across to Penrith. In addition he said that he believed that Rooty Hill were also unhappy with Parramatta and he would make an approach to see if they were interested in coming across.
Subsequently both clubs decided they wanted to explore the opportunity and invited Penrith to address their members. Both Clubs also invited Parramatta to speak to their members. I am aware that Parramatta did not turn up for the Rooty Hill meeting - however did take the opportunity to speak to Hawkesbury. Both clubs put it to a vote and the decision to go to Penrith was made. The outgoing committee of Sydney Juniors were supportive of the move however the incoming executive opposed it. Constitutionally there were no barriers so it was finally supported.
As an aside issue the then group of U17 boys (a majority from Hawkesbury & Rooty Hill) were favored to win the State title in 2012. They had been with Parramatta all their days and rightfully so felt their dream of winning the title under threat if they had to play for Penrith - splitting the team. It was a no brainer to allow those boys to play together and special permission was sought and granted to allow the Penrith players to play for Parramatta. History will show that those boys did win the title and now form a strong part of the Parramatta Colts squad.
With respect to Blue Mountains. My interpretation of their situation was that they lacked faith in Penrith to be able successfully organise a junior District. Looking at it from their perspective I fully understood their scepticism. History has shown that Sydney Juniors insistence of BlueMountains staying at Penrith has been vindicated as they form an important part of the District. A final note on that issue - Penrith accepted an invitation to talk to the Blue Mountains committee in relation to our plans for the new District and they still wanted to go to West Harbour. Although we were disappointed - we respected their decision and formally advised Sydney Juniors however Sydney Juniors decided against the West Harbour affiliation.
In the wrap-up yes Penrith did land on their feet re the merger of those three clubs to form a District - however it should be understood that Parramatta didn't develop these clubs - the hard working mums and dads of their respective areas formed and developed those clubs - and those same groups of people chose a new direction for their clubs.
As a new District we have worked very hard to give all our rep players the opportunity to look and perform with a sense of pride that they are now truly representing their area. We had 8 sponsors this year. We also held a golf day and representative season launch where each of our 210 rep players received their gear. This is on top of our summer academy held from November to January. We again held our March Mini Madness carnival over three weeks as well as cooperatively organized the Western Sydney Minis Competition with Parramatta Juniors. We are optimistic of starting a new District Club in 2014.
As a final word - it has always been and will continue to be our mission to grow rugby in Outer Western Sydney - an area synonymous as being the home of the world's largest rugby league nursery. With very limited ARU development resources - if we don't grow our game in the west - nobody else will.